Lightning Facing Free Agent Decisions.

With their season finally over, the Tampa Bay Lightning face some tough decisions regarding their free agents.

ESPN.COM: Scott Burnside reports Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has “a host of free agents” to deal with this summer, including his goaltending and winger Simon Gagne. Burnside recently listed the Lightning’s unrestricted free agents and their possible futures. He believes it wouldn’t be a shock if Yzerman re-signed Dwayne Roloson to a one-year deal for around the same money ($2.5 million) he made this season, but wondered if he’ll re-sign Mike Smith or look for a more affordable backup option via the free agent market. Burnside believes the respective post-season performances of Eric Brewer and Marc-Andre Bergeron is bound to increase their value, suggesting Brewer could cash in on the free agent market. The injury history of Gagne make it hard to imagine any team will pay him close to the $5.25 million he earned this season.  Burnside also feels Yzerman will try to retain Sean Bergenheim though it remains to be seen how much of a raise he could get, while Adam Hall could remain as an affordable re-signing.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I could see Roloson and Smith re-signed, along with Hall and Bergenheim. Brewer might also consider staying. Gagne’s injury history sadly means he’s unlikely to be re-signed. Bergeron played well in the post-season but it remains to be seen if he’ll be re-signed. I’m sure we’ll get much more analysis on the Bolts and their free agents, as well as potential trade or free agent targets, very soon. The Lightning currently have over $36.5 million invested in 11 players, and what will impact the other free agents will be the new contract for RFA superstar forward Steven Stamkos, who is bound to cash in for at least $7 million per season, while Ted Purcell has also earned himself a nice raise over the $750K he made this season.

13 Comments

  1. The lightning did have a good run, lets be honest though, if San jose or Detroit were in the west or even Chicago the Eastern team representing would be different. If Pittsburgh gets healthy next year they will stroll to the finals. Vancouver should cruise in this final.
    The West is so much better than the East, I would love to see a format where everyone plays each other home and away and the rest of the games are devided in your own region.
    Everyone says what about the travel, this is foolish talk. If you are from the East you fly out to the Coast and then you stay a week to 10 days. You do this 3 times a season and its covered. Look Detroit is a million miles from some West teams and they have been doing the travel for years.

  2. vanlee…what makes you think vancouver is going to cruise in this final? Thomas is the better goalie and Boston has better D that doesn’t get injured. Van has more star power up front but if it goes to a physical game the Nucks are done, if it goes to a cycle game the B’s are done.

  3. Van’s D is every bit as good and tough as the B’s, The B’s would have to play perfect hockey to beat Van, and Thomas would have to be the MVP, It could happen, but it ain’t

  4. Canadian King ,
    Vancouver has 596 hits in the playoffs so far, Boston 445. So the Boston physical game won’t bother Vancouver.

  5. I have to agree with bowman, the Canucks aren’t a team that will put up with Bostons garbage tactics as the will have players that will injure other people in retaliation. Canucks are a superior team in all areas. You can’t deny that they are deep, surly, and have a gold medal winning goaltender.

  6. I think Yzerman will be able to keep all his forwards, including Gagne, who i think will get 2 mil. On the backend though i think we will see some new looks and i wouldn’t be surprised if they get one of the bigger names, like Wisniewski. If they buyout Kubina, his cap hit will go down to 1.5 mil. I think they can keep Brewer too as it looks like Vinik will want to ride the cap. Anyway, I think they’ll be one of the more interesting teams to watch off-season.
    As to the finals, I guess we’ll soon find out if the Bruins D are as crappy and slow as they look.

  7. The Lightning’s third line was a great story this playoffs. Often the team with the best third line is the best in the playoffs (which reminds me of the balanced attack the Canadiens had in 93). Man they gave the teams they played hell.

  8. @Canadian King: Boston has the best defenseman in the series in Chara, but not the better overall defense corps. Since Julien will almost for sure play Chara against the Sedins, that leaves Kaberle to defend against Kesler. How do you think that’s going to work out for Boston? Canucks can roll four lines and with Malhotra due back, the Bruins will be chasing the puck all series after losing face off after face off.

  9. Tux, I doubt Gagne settles for 2 mil. Probably at least around the 4 mark sounds about right.
    And I have to go with Vancouver in this series. They will out hit, out score, and out class there opponent. I’m finally glad I can stop “cheering” for Boston. Now that they’re in the finals, the Leafs get they’re 2012 second rounder. I hope Boston gets embarrased in the finals. Van in 5.

  10. why does this turn into a bruins vs vancouver fourm and boston beat vancouver this season once and if u think vancouver has tough players ur crazy.tampa will make some trades keep rolson and get a backup able to play alot of games.smith looked pretty capable.stamkos is the question mark how much for how long. ill say he gets 7.5 mill a season.maybe try to trade lecaviller ,i know i may have spelled vinny last name wrong sorry.i think if boston can slow vancouver down they got a shot seidenburg and boychuck had a great series against tampa.ill say boston in 7

  11. I really don’t understand everyone’s concern about “tough choices”. It is simple; keep Bergenhiem (speed and forecheck), Brewer (Veteran anchor for our defensive corps), Hall (great PK and character), Roloson (mentor for Desjardins or Tokarski), Lundin (great stay-at-home Dman), Purcel (excelled on Vinny’s wing) and Stamkos (because it’s Freaking Steven Stamkos). Don’t resign Gagne (to fragile), M.A. Bergeron (defensive liability) or Randy Jones (Lundin is a better option anyways for the price). See, simple. The Lightning look great going forward. Our prospects are looking great and this draft could yeild us a good stay-at-home Dman (David Musil in the 1st) and a goalie (John Gibson in the 2nd).

  12. What franchises would be candidates to receive Gagne if he were to not resign to TB?

    I can’t imagine he’d be going for less than 3 mil. He may have injury problems, but he’s put up 40 pts in the last two consecutive seasons. There’s plenty of teams that could use that.

  13. Yzerman is a friend of Gagne and a fan of his defensive game. Even though he had big goals in the playoffs, he often looked poor and like he’s losing his legs. So, he may be ready to settle down with a good team, but steve can’t shell out big; maybe 2.5. I tend to figure that veterans want to be on a good teams, and not necessarily have to start from scratch somewhere else.