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Lightning sign Brayden Point to big, eight-year extension

Lightning sign Brayden Point to big, eight-year extension
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No, the Lightning haven’t totally avoided losses related from the salary cap. They keep finding ways to maintain their contending core, though. In the latest reminder, the Lightning signed Brayden Point to a big eight-year, $76 million extension during free-agent day.

 

Lightning maintain core with eight-year extension for Point

So, that translates to a $9.5M cap hit, starting in the 2022-23 season. Point’s eight-year extension will run from 2022-23 through 2029-30.

(Yes, it’s difficult to imagine the world, let alone the NHL, in 2030. Agreed.)

 

This season represents the last year where Point comes at the bargain cap hit of $6.75M. The Lightning won a Stanley Cup in each of the first two seasons of his current contract, and Point was absolutely in the Conn Smythe Trophy conversation both times.

 

While Point and Nikita Kucherov couldn’t win a Conn Smythe Trophy either time, they were absolutely instrumental in both runs.

 

Somehow, Point just completed his fifth NHL season. With 23 goals and 48 points, Point reached at least 23 goals scored in four straight seasons. (He barely missed that mark as a rookie in 2016-17, scoring 18 goals in 68 games.)

 

Of course, it’s his playoff work that shines the brightest. As part of the Lightning’s repeat Stanley Cup runs, Point’s topped all playoff goal scorers, with 14 goals each time. He almost matched Reggie Leach’s playoff goal streak record during this past run.

 

Really, he’s checked about all of the boxes, to the degree that it’s surprising that Point is only 25.

 

 

Pondering the ever-present Lightning cap questions after Point extension

Normally, there’d be a lot of hand-wringing about Point’s extension being of the eight-year variety. Especially since it kicks in during the 2022-23 season, rather than in 2021-22.

And, yeah, there might come a time when that $9.5M goes from a borderline-bargain to a concern. Just look at how Steven Stamkos feels more feasible as a trade target these days with his $8.5M cap hit.

 

But that $9.5M price tag does bring about eternal questions about the Lightning’s future salary cap considerations.

 

Naturally, there’s a “Fool me once …” element here. People will inevitably note Nikita Kucherov going on LTIR to give wiggle room. On Tuesday alone, the Lightning convinced the Blackhawks to absorb Tyler Johnson‘s contract, while receiving LTIR fodder with Brent Seabrook. The Lightning will gladly fork over the occasional second-rounder to get out of salary-cap jail.

 

Still, Point and others might eventually squeeze out enough useful supporting cast members for there to be a strain.

 

To afford Point, and eventually keep Anthony Cirelli and/or Mikhail Sergachev around, might the Lightning lose Ondrej Palat, Alex Killorn, Ryan McDonagh, or even Stamkos?

 

All fair questions, and certain elements of the Lightning are getting older (Stamkos: 31; Victor Hedman: 30). Still, Point is 25, Kucherov is 28, and Andrei Vasilevskiy is 27.

 

They’re no longer dirt-cheap, but the Lightning’s best players are probably still making under market value. Even now that Point’s price tag is set at a less borderline-insulting rate, it’s still a price just about every team will pay.

 

So expect the Lightning to be that whip-smart team that so many fans increasingly loved to hate.

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Glad the Lightning got this done BEFORE his current deal expired.
Keep all the rumor nonsense and tension out of it.

Bolts want Point to stay, they KNOW he should be paid at least Kucherov/Vasilevskiy money, so just do it now, no messing around.
HIs cap hit won't bump up till after this upcoming season, by then, some other contracts come off the books, the biggest being Ondrej Palat's 5.3M.

Palat will either take less to come back (my preference) or won't come back, and by then, he would be replaced by some hungry young forwards the Bolts have in the minors now (likely what will happen).

So....the Bolts core now:
Stamkos, Kucherov, Point, Hedman, Vasilevskiy, Killorn, McDonagh, Sergachev.

Hopefully at least two of Somppi, Katchouk, Raddysh, Foote will have developed to replace some of the above in about two or three seasons from now, and others, like Cirelli, Joseph, and Colton will have taken bigger roles to compliment Kuch and Point who will be leading the way up front.

Lightning will have their 1C for the foreseeable! 

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