Sergachev Indicators New Deal in Tampa Bay
Perry Nelson/USA TodayOne down, one to go. OK, it is not fairly that straightforward, however Tampa Bay GM Julien BriseBois did get an vital piece of enterprise achieved as we speak by signing defenseman Mikhail Sergachev to a brand new three-year contract that comes with a cap hit of $4.eight million. Now, the Lightning must get two-way middle Anthony Cirelli below contract and the Stanley Cup champions must do some deft maneuvering to make that occur.Tampa Bay is presently over the wage cap by about $2 million and Cirelli’s superior play up the center means the 23-year-old won’t come low cost. Simply to extend the extent of problem, defenseman Erik Cernak can also be in want of a brand new pact.The obvious transfer for the Lightning is to discover a suitor for Tyler Johnson, the veteran ahead whose $5 million cap hit and diminishing contributions make him a goal for change. Tampa Bay already tried waiving Johnson to do away with his contract, however no different franchise was prepared to assist them out. In all chance, BriseBois must half with an asset as a way to commerce Johnson and obtain that ever-so-important cap house. And even after that, the Bolts most likely should get extra money off the books.However let’s deal with Sergachev, the person of the hour. A two-way defenseman with nice dimension and upside, Sergachev has largely been sheltered early in his profession – however when your blueline friends are veterans like Ryan McDonagh and Norris Trophy winner Victor Hedman, that is comprehensible. Heck, it is really ideally suited. At simply 22 years outdated, Sergachev is simply getting into his prime years as an NHL defenseman and the teenager is trending in the best route. He established a brand new career-high with 10 objectives this previous season, half of which got here on the facility play. Because the years go on, Sergachev’s significance in Tampa Bay will proceed to climb. He was already third in ice time this previous season (behind Hedman and McDonagh) and as his sport matures, these minutes will not be as sheltered as they’ve been prior to now.Sergachev will nonetheless be a restricted free agent when his new deal expires, although to be honest, that is solely his second NHL contract (his entry-level deal being the primary) and these bridge offers are fairly widespread. It does give BriseBois and the Bolts extra management within the subsequent negotiations with the Russian defender, who might be in line for a hefty increase on his future contract if he turns into a professional star within the coming seasons. On the open market, he would virtually definitely fetch such a value – however he’ll should signal one other extension with the Lightning earlier than that may occur now.