While the top of the RFA market is basically at a crawl right now, Lightning GM Julien BriseBois told NHL.com’s Corey Long that he’s optimistic that he’ll be able to get center Brayden Point signed by training camp. Today’s trade of Ryan Callahan to Ottawa certainly gives them some extra flexibility to work with if they decide to try to work out a long-term deal. However, recent history has suggested that Tampa Bay may be inclined to pursue a bridge contract; BriseBois was quick to point out that anyone that did so received a long-term deal afterwards. Knowing that they’ll be adding Andrei Vasilevskiy’s long-term extension to the books in 2020-21, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Lightning push for a bridge pact with Point to allow them to try to keep as much of the core together as possible over the next couple of seasons.
More from Tampa Bay:
- The addition of Mike Condon puts Louis Domingue’s future with the team even more in question. With Curtis McElhinney coming in as the new backup, Domingue was already on the outside looking in and Condon’s presence further cements that. BriseBois indicated to Joe Smith of The Athletic (subscription required) that he has spoken with a few teams about finding a new home for the 27-year-old and that he’s confident a trade will be worked out by training camp. Domingue, who had a 2.88 GAA with a .908 SV% in 26 games last season, carries a $1.15MM cap hit and will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.
- While Vasilevskiy certainly could have just gone the arbitration route next summer to get to the open market as soon as possible, his agent Dan Milstein told John Romano of the Tampa Bay Times that going that route was never considered as he wanted to get a long-term deal done as soon as possible and that he was willing to give a bit of a hometown discount to get it done. The 25-year-old signed an eight-year, $76MM deal on Monday, giving him the third-highest AAV among netminders in the league when the contract kicks in next July.