July 9: The Lightning have officially announced the contract for Martel.
July 4: The Tampa Bay Lightning have inked one of their restricted free agents, signing Danick Martel to a one-year two-way contract according to Joe Smith of The Athletic. Martel was eligible for salary arbitration but instead will get his contract done well in advance. The deal will be worth $700K at the NHL level.
Martel, 24, was claimed off waivers at the start of the 2018-19 season from the Philadelphia Flyers, but he ended up playing just nine games for the Lightning. Used as a press box regular, the undersized forward will be brought back to see if he can help the organization for another season. When the Lightning claimed him it seemed odd, given how little opportunity there was in the NHL forward group, but it’s hard to judge a team that has had such success finding undrafted talents out of the QMJHL in the past.
An 102-point scorer in his final year in junior, the 5’8″ Martel took quickly to the professional level and recorded three consecutive 20+ goal seasons with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Proven now at that level, the next challenge will be finding some NHL success. He has just 13 games under his belt at that level, meaning he will become a Group VI unrestricted free agent next summer if he fails to play in at least 67 contests this year. There actually may be a real opportunity for him to do so now that names like J.T. Miller and Ryan Callahan have moved on.
The Lightning still have lots of work to do this summer after signing Martel, as Brayden Point leads a trio of NHL restricted free agents without contracts. The team still has a little bit of wiggle room under the salary cap, but Point’s deal will determine whether they have to make another move to shed salary or not.