Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman remains hopeful he can sign veteran wing Ryan Callahan before he becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1st.
But while agent Steve Bartlett says both sides have made progress in recent weeks, they don't appear close to an agreement.
"It's at a critical stage where we have to find a way to close the gap," Bartlett said.
It seems all the more likely that Callahan, as expected, will at least be able to test free agency. Bartlett expects teams will reach out to him on Wednesday, the first day they're allowed to make contact. While no offers can be made from other clubs until July 1, it will at least give Callahan's camp an idea of who else is in the running.
from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,
The Lightning will not be issuing a qualifying offer to goaltender Anders Lindback, allowing the 26-year-old to become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
In order to retain Lindback’s rights as a restricted free agent, the Lightning would have had to issue an offer equal to the $2.2 million salary he played for last season.
Lindback finished last season 8-12-2 with a 2.90 goals-against average and .891 save percentage in 23 games before posting an 0-3 record, 3.91 GAA and .881 save percentage in four playoff games.
But Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman said the book on Lindback is not closed, and though the team intends to test the free agent market for a potential backup, Lindback remains a consideration.
continue for more on the Lightning...
from Joe Smith of Lightning Strikes at the Tampa Bay Times,
Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said Friday he's had "really good discussions" with Ryan Callahan's camp and is still hopeful to sign the veteran forward before he becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1.
"We still have some time," Yzerman said. "We'd really like to keep Ryan in the organization, and we're going to continue to work. I'd like to get a deal done before he reaches free agency."...
Yzerman said they're still working to sign their restricted free agents, having already locked up Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Alex Killorn in recent weeks. "We expect to get deals with them at some point," Yzerman said. "We're optimistic."
Yzerman said they're still talking with goalie Anders Lindback as they're looking for a backup goalie for Ben Bishop. "He's still in the mix," Yzerman said. "They understand what I'm trying to do at this point and he's still a guy we're considering signing for next year.
a bit more
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have resigned forward Alex Killorn to a two-year contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Killorn, 24, played in all 82 games for the Lightning last season, collecting 17 goals and 41 points to go along with 63 penalty minutes. He was one of three players on the Bolts to skate in all 82 games. Killorn ranked sixth on the Lightning for goals with 17 in his first full season in the NHL. He notched six points in the first five games of the 2013-14 season, including the overtime-winner in Buffalo on October 8.
from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
The veteran wing is a prime candidate for a compliance buyout, with Tampa Bay having one left after using its first on Vinny Lecavalier last summer. The buyout period begins Sunday, or two days after the Stanley Cup final ends, whichever is later, through June 30.
Neither Malone, 34, nor his agent, would comment, but he realizes he's a candidate....
"Obviously injuries he's had, some serious injuries over the past three, four years since I've been with the organization, have limited the number of games that he could play," Yzerman said. "It does take its toll on a player. We're taking everything into consideration for the offseason in improving our team and we're looking at all different (options), whether it be the draft, free agency, trades, buyouts. We'll take it all into consideration."
There are several reasons the Lightning could consider buying out the final year of Malone's contract, saving a $4.5 million cap hit, by spreading two-thirds of his $2.5 million salary ($1.67 million) evenly over two years.
There's Malone's legal issues, an arraignment scheduled Monday in Tampa as he faces charges of cocaine possession and driving under the influence stemming from April 12 arrest; he has pleaded not guilty.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have resigned forward Ondrej Palat to a three-year contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Palat, 23, skated in 81 games for the Lightning during the 2013-14 season, collecting 23 goals and 59 points to go along with a plus-32 rating. He was named a finalist for the Calder Trophy, given annually to the top NHL rookie, which will be announced on Tuesday, June 24 in Las Vegas. He ranked second among all NHL rookies for points and was third for goals. Palat also led all Lightning skaters for points and plus/minus. He became just the third player in Lightning franchise history to finish the season with a plus/minus rating better than 30.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
They are both right wings. They were leaders for New York-area teams. They play rugged, in-your-face games. They can score goals on the power play and in even-strength situations.
Ryan Callahan could become the next David Clarkson. And that’s not necessarily a good thing. Clarkson was never drafted. But after signing with the Devils, he didn’t take long to become an important player. In 426 games with New Jersey, Clarkson scored 97 goals and 73 assists while racking up 770 penalty minutes.
In his final season in New Jersey, Clarkson led his team with 15 goals (six on the power play) in 48 games. He averaged 17:35 of ice time, including 3:33 on the power play. He dropped the gloves six times, according to http://www.hockeyfights.com The D.evils had more shot attempts than they allowed with Clarkson playing.
Clarkson turned his body of work into a seven-year, $36.75 million bonanza with Toronto. One year in, it looks like one of the league’s worst contracts. After serving a 10-game suspension for leaving the bench during a preseason game against Buffalo, things didn’t get much better for Clarkson. He scored five goals and six assists in 60 games while averaging 15:06 of ice time.
Callahan loves Clarkson’s contract. The former Rangers captain could probably do better. In 470 games, Callahan has 138 goals and 127 assists. In 45 games with the Rangers this season, Callahan scored 11 goals and 14 assists while logging 17:57 of ice time per game.
more plus other hockey topics...
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed center Tyler Johnson to a three-year contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced. Johnson was scheduled to become a restricted free agent.
from Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times,
The Lightning left wing was arrested April 12 in Tampa and charged with cocaine possession (police say they found 1.3 grams in his back pocket) and DUI (police say he had Breathalyzer blood-alcohol readings of 0.112 and 0.116, well above the 0.08 at which someone legally is considered impaired in Florida). The drug charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail, the DUI charge six months.
Malone has pleaded not guilty, but given the circumstances, that seems a formality while his attorney tries to work out a deal with prosecutors. No trial date has been set.
What is less clear is what this all means for Malone's relationship with the team.
For now, at least, it seems the Lightning will make its determination based on whether Malone, a well-liked teammate, still can contribute on the ice. Legal problems or not, that is not a good equation for the player, who even before a terrible 2013-14 season was believed a possible buyout target.
That Malone is in the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program run jointly by the league and players association might not matter. Though the collective bargaining agreement does not specifically address the issue, it is believed the NHL's position is a player in the program can be bought out because his absence from the team is not hockey related.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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