The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed restricted free agent Brayden Point to a three-year contract, ending the long negotiation in time for him to get on the ice before the season begins. Point’s new contract will carry an average annual value of $6.75MM. GM Julien BriseBois explained his excitement for the deal:
We are very pleased to re-sign Brayden today. He is the consummate professional with an unwavering commitment to team success, growing as a player and improving every day. It is that mindset that makes him an outstanding role model, teammate and person, on and off the ice. We look forward to getting Brayden back on the ice with his Lightning teammates as soon as possible.
A three-year bridge deal continues the Tampa Bay tradition with their top players, and provides them with a chance to get some incredible excess value over the next few seasons. The Lightning have previously signed Nikita Kucherov and Andrei Vasilevskiy to similar three-year deals that turned out extremely well for the team before locking them into long-term contract extensions as they approached free agency for the second time. That’s likely the same plan they have for Point, as this contract will leave him an RFA in 2022 though a $9MM qualifying offer will give Point a potential avenue to get to unrestricted free agency. Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic provides the full breakdown:
- 2019-20: $1.9MM salary + $4.25MM signing bonus
- 2020-21: $2.5MM salary + $3.5MM signing bonus
- 2021-22: $9.0MM salary
Even though they only lock him in for three years at this price, a $6.75MM salary seems incredibly reasonable for a player of Point’s talents. The 23-year old center has transformed himself into one of the most dynamic two-way centers in the league, scoring 41 goals and 92 points last season while also being nominated for the Selke Trophy as one of the league’s best defensive forwards. A third-round pick in 2014 that had questions around his skating and upside at the professional level, Point has improved dramatically every season and now has 91 goals and 198 points in 229 career regular season games.
This new salary does make Point the third-highest paid forward on the Lightning behind Kucherov and Steven Stamkos, but leaves the Lightning with some wiggle room under the cap. The team now projects to have about $1.7MM in cap space with a 23-man roster, something that seemed impossible at the start of the offseason. Tampa Bay recorded one of the best regular seasons in NHL history last year and will head into 2019-20 with a very similar group. Though Anton Stralman, J.T. Miller and Dan Girardi are gone, the team replaced them with names like Kevin Shattenkirk, Patrick Maroon and Luke Schenne. The fact that many of the team’s other role players have been retained is a testament to how well the front office has navigated the cap over the last several years.
That difficult path won’t end now though. With Point’s deal in place and an extension for Vasilevskiy kicking in for 2020-21, the team will once again be facing a severe cap crunch. With that in mind, there will be even more pressure to perform this year and find more postseason success than they had in 2019.
With another RFA off the board, the focus now turns to Matthew Tkachuk, Mikko Rantanen, Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor to get contracts finalized before the season starts. Given Point’s status as arguably the best (or at least most valuable thanks to his position) of that group, this deal should help provide a template for potential bridge deals in other cities. Mitch Marner, who signed a six-year $65MM deal recently, may give the other end of the spectrum and provide a template for a long-term deal.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images
Hopefully, there will be good news (soon) for you, Bolts Fans!
Ya it’s been a few months since they’ve got one of their star guys to take a sweetheart deal. Bolt fans must be worried
No state taxes in Florida is a big help.
You should be more worried about your Sens instead of Tampa Bay… just a tad bit more to work with there eh buddy!
Get a friggin life man. My god is nobody else sick of this guy. Every post gets trolled. Why ruin every comment section?
Man you get wound up easy bro. Apparantly not. I don’t reply toe every comment just the ones I feel the need to.
The Lightning must take each of their players and a camera to Robert Kraft’s favorite spa or something.
There’s a difference between “team friendly” and “they have pictures”.
Hopefully this gets the all mighty pen writing on other RFA’s , all except Laine and possibly Rantanen , Connor will sign soon,
I agree. Anytime you wanna ask me anything hockey related drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org.
More points than Marner less money than Nylander. Leafs need to learn this hypnosis Tampa has they’re players under. Point would have made $10MM+ easy on the open market.
He did not have more points than Marner.
More goals, 2 fewer points…virtually equal in scoring stats, but Point’s probably a little more valuable to TBL than Marner is to TOR.
The Leafs wont because they signed Matthews to over 11 and tavares to 11 a year… so they needed to spend what they did to keep the best player on the team and one of the most exciting/electric players in all of hockey.
Thanks Marner, wrote info down, have been studying up on few Leaf prospects list in possible line ups in Mikheyev and Timashov on cap friendly , was hoping for Bracco , thou you said may get some time down the road, and other hockey sites , so now will be off to:
link to greenfelt.net for some solitaire on favorite game site where if you had a free account there you can reach me there as riverrat55 don’t know if you are a gamer or solitaire player great free site if so , several few good games on there greenfelt.net , Take Care
Sounds good. Awesome good stuff. I’ve tried to watch as many pre-season games as I can but been quite busy and can’t really get that into them.
Enjoy your site/card playing. Used to back in the day.
Thanks you too
So many people have an obsession with Marner, get out of the mans wallet. Bridge contracts are bad for players and most want to stay far away
I wouldn’t say they are bad for players. If one of them is very confident in their abilities, it is their best way to maximize earnings. If that’s what they prioritize.
Of course they do. Small guy with tons of talent, exciting, fun to watch. Guys like this rarely come along anymore. He’s worth every cent!
If you are a guy who hasn’t broke out yet sure. But there is so much young talent now that comes in and makes an immediate impact. Its why the RFA market this year is moving at a snails pace
Marner here some injury info on Neuvirth for you !
link to rotoworld.com
Thanks, hopefully he’s okay he played decent two nights ago.