Latest Lightning News – May 31, 2011.

What are the top five off-season issues facing Tampa Bay Lightning management this summer? Are Steven Stamkos and their goaltending among those issues?

TBO.COM: Erik Erlendssen reports the five key issues facing the Lightning this summer. They are: who’ll play goal next season? (Dwayne Roloson and Mike Smith are UFAs), Will Steven Stamkos (a restricted free agent ) be back?  Who will log number one defenseman minutes? Will the forward line depth take a hit? Just how busy will the off-season really be? Erlendsson believes it’s not a stretch to imagine Roloson and Smith could return, though it’s not a certainty. It behooves the Lightning to get Stamkos re-signed before July 1st, when he’ll be eligible to receive offer sheets from other clubs. Eric Brewer’s strong post-season could possibly price him out of the Lightning’s price range this summer. Ted Purcell is a restricted free agent, while Simon Gagne, Sean Bergenheim and Adam Hall are unrestricted free agents.

TAMPABAY.COM: Damian Cristodero reports Lightning GM Steve Yzerman admitted his team will “increase payroll” for next season though he wouldn’t get into specifics, and admitted he was open to bringing back Roloson and Smith next season. Both goalies also expressed a willingness to return with the Lightning. Cristodero also reports Stamkos doesn’t expect any problems re-signing with the Lightning, nor does his agent or Yzerman. It’s expected Stamkos will re-sign for about $7 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stamkos will be re-signed before July 1st. He’s not going anywhere. Folks who believe otherwise really don’t know what they’re talking about. The Lightning also aren’t going to trade him, so ignore any rumors suggesting otherwise. It wouldn’t be surprising if Roloson and Smith did return next season, but if it comes down to keeping only one, Roloson probably stays, as they could find a replacement for Smith in this summer’s UFA market, where there’s depth in experienced, affordable backups. Brewer could be tough to retain, which could mean dipping into the free agent pool or perhaps making a trade. It remains to be seen what happens with Gagne, Bergenheim and Hall, but Purcell will also be re-signed.

20 Comments

  1. If Roloson was in his 30’s I think it would be a garantee he resigns. But he’s 41. Instead of signing him and a mediocre Smith, why don’t they pool that money and go after a legit #1? being a team that has a mixture of really good young players and savvy vets. Also mixed with the fact the weather is awesome in TB, I’m sure attracting the likes of Vokoun or Bryz shouldn’t be considered a long shot. Especially after making it to the semi finals. Resigning these two together should be plan B or C IMO.

  2. i just think they are on a budget and can’t afford a 5+ million a year goalie. Hypothetically if they sign vokoun to a 2 year 8 million dollar deal and then they need to pay a backup another 1-1.5 million. there is no chance of resigning Brewer or bergeron with Stamkos and purcell do raises

  3. Buffbry, you have a good point. I’m just looking at the cap hit they spent this year on goalies (4.7) all things being equal, they could probably buy Vokoun and Smith for a smidge over that. But they also have to give Stammer, Brewer, Purcell etc. raises. They could afford all if they spent to the cap, and it raises to 62 (25 mil to spend on 10 players) but I guess it all depends on how much more they are willing to spend this year. With a new owner and a deep playoff run, the time might be now.

  4. Thank you for having some dignity and telling it how it is.

  5. durt they said ownership is def going to increase payroll but that doesn’t mean cap ceiling. I say lightning resign roloson a 1 year 2-2.5 mill and smith 1 year 2 way contract(it’s what i read) which will be about a million tops. so 3-3.5 for both there goalies. stam is gonna want 7mill and purcell about 2. brewer is at least gonna get 4-5 range with his playoff performance, prob closer to 5. Lightning have a bunch of guys coming off the books this season which will be good for them in the long run. They should make a deal for either schneider or bernier. Both are NHL , young, low cap hits and tb has the prospects/picks to do it. say something like carter ashton and a 1st for bernier? then resign roloson to mentor for 1 year and your set for 15 years in net.

  6. 1) I really don’t think they’re on a budget: they are dropping $35 mil on arena upgrade.
    2) Yzerman is looking for tommorow’s goalie, he won’t bend over for a temp, so i’m guessing he re-ups both guys for same price for 1 year while the search continues.
    3) I disagree about Brewer. I don’t think he’s forgotten how quickly you get maligned for poor play like he was for years. I’ll bet he really wants to play there and signs for 3 – 3.5. I know you all disagree; watch and learn.
    4) The forwards pretty much all came from the free pile. They are all as grateful to Yzerman as they are in awe of him, and will all sign for cap-friendly deals.

    Mark my words boys.

  7. Cedric Desjardins will more than likely be the backup next season if he has a good camp.

  8. with the lightning losing so much money last season,i believe owner said 25 million ,i dont see this team spending to the cap.maybe vinny l.gets traded,he has big contract but teams like rangers montreal now winnipeg may be intrested.rolson resigns 1 yr deal for 2.5 mill or 3 mill.bergenhiem resigns not big contract hes a good player but is it more a player being placed with good players and just having that type of playoff.brewer resigns but if alot of these role players ask for alot they are replaceable.stamkos is not replaceable,st louis not replaceable.purcell looks to be playing alot better.tampa has a great coach and he is a media wizard in the playoffs but they are either gonna spend to the cap and make a run next season or lower cap hits and see where they land.but steve yzerman is proving to have some hockey genius

  9. The trouble with signing a “#1 goalie” is that there are only a half-dozen guys who are very good year after year. There are dozens who are top notch one year, then mediocre to decent the next. Why pay $5m for a guy who might be no better than what you’ve got today? About 25 teams face this problem, and I think many GMs avoid long-term deals with goalies precisely because so few goalies are consistently worth big money.

    No matter how much you pay a guy, with few exceptions, you’re always stuck with what’s behind door #3. If you’re rolling the dice anyway, just keep a few around and see who gets hot.

  10. Tux, “I know you all disagree; Watch and learn.”
    You sure are ballz cocky! …did I use that right? Lol!

  11. Wow it’s a relief reading this. As a leafs fan, it gets tiring sometimes listening to all the rumors and what not. Obviously Stamkos isnt going anywhere. what GM DOESNT sign a 50+ goal scorer. anyone who thinks hes going anywhere is crazy.(leafs fans seem to think we might trade for him HAHAHa!)

    I agree with most of the comments also, Stevie Y did not get to this point in hockey having no clue what he was doing. hes won before and i dont see Tampa being far off in the future. they are in good hands and whatever he has in store for tampa will surely be a smart move.

  12. you got that right Durt.
    I am a jackass in regular life.
    But in this case, I’ve been watching TB pretty closely.
    Keep me honest, though, and cuss me out down the road if i’m wrong.
    (balls smug AND balls cocky)

  13. Roloson will be back on a one year deal worth about 2.5mil. Smith is a question mark, as Yzerman will look to bring in a young prospect to learn from Rolly. Purcell is going to re-sign for about . Brewer was strong in the playoffs but struggled in the regular season a bit….re-signs for 3.8-4mil per over 2 seasons. Stammer signs at around 7mil, and Lecavelier does not get moved….nor would it be considered by Tampa or any other team. Tampa is in good shape, but needs to get younger on the back end….a young d-man or two and a young goalie.

  14. Tux, I don’t mind if youre balls cocky. As long as youre not balls mouthy, I find those types of people to be very salty…zing!

  15. 1. Durt & Tux. You have quite an entertaining thread. The double-entendre is cracking me up.
    2. I believe neither Stamkos nor Doughty are eligible for offer sheets.
    3. Stamkos is going no where regardless. I could see St. Louis going somewhere first. There is simply no way you let a guy like that go. On the downside, Stamkos does look like a $7M per season guy. That’s almost a given.
    4. Lecavalier will be a hard sell. Nobody wants to be paying him when he’s 40 years old. The contract is too expensive and too long, and if Lecavalier isn’t on the downhill side of the mountain he’s at least sitting on the top.
    5. I’m glad to see another hockey team in Canada. I would have preferred the Ducks were the team that moved, but oh well.

  16. well Durt i was mouthy yesterday…..didn’t you see my anti-flyers spaz?
    @ JD: The Ducks are a great team in a really strong market. The Thrashers though are a GMs wet dream. They are completely stocked with young talent, including a much coveted young D. They had a strong 1st half to last season, and with great coaching and a feel-good crowd, it could be a positive year. Too bad about their goalkeeping though, i think it will be their downfall.
    oops. off topic.

  17. Drop Smith, resign Roly to one year. They have Dustin Tokarski in the system, bring him in once Roly hangs the skates up

  18. Of course Vokoun probably wouldn’t have to sell his house and move if TB comes calling.

  19. Would I, a die-hard Ranger fan, love it if Steve Stamkos were unsigned July 1st and the Blueshirts made a run at him? Of course! Do I think it’s going to happen? Hell. No. I agree with Spector – Stevie Y ain’t gonna let Stevie S. go anywhere.

  20. How about a Lecavalier for Phaneuf trade with offsetting picks thrown in? Both are bad contracts but the Leafs are dying for a big name forward and Tampa could use a little extra grit on the back end plus Phaneuf’s contract is way shorter than Lecavalier’s. Thoughts?