Tampa Bay Lightning Player News: All Positions

News: Stephens' strong play stood out Tuesday in a 3-0 preseason loss to Carolina.
Impact: It was a tough night overall for the Bolts, but Stephens flashed some good hands in the first period. He pressured on the forecheck, stripped the puck away and quickly fired a dangerous backhander. Stephens also stood out on the penalty kill. The Bolts don't have many (if any) open forward spots on the roster, so Stephens will be ticketed to the minors again this year. But impressing team brass this preseason is critical in his development.
News: Wedgewood is starting in Tuesday's preseason game versus the Hurricanes, Bryan Burns of the Lightning's official site reports.
Impact: Wedgewood will likely play in the minors this season since Curtis McElhinney and Louis Domingue are battling to be Andrei Vasilevskiy's backup. He's was average in the AHL last year with a .908 save percentage and 2.68 GAA, but he'll have an opportunity to make a statement Tuesday.
News: Killorn will be in the lineup for Tuesday's preseason opener against the Hurricanes, Ryan Kolakowski of The Tampa Bay Times reports.
Impact: Killorn played through a minor tear in his right MCL during the Lightning's brief postseason run last year, but he didn't require offseason surgery and appears to be back to 100 percent as Tampa Bay's preseason schedule gets underway. The 30-year-old vet, who notched 18 goals and 40 points while posting a plus-22 rating in 82 games last campaign, will occupy a bottom-six role while at even strength in 2019-20, but he should also see time on the Lightning's second man-advantage unit.
News: Walcott will start training camp sporting a non-contact sweater due to the shoulder issue he suffered during camp in 2018, Erik Erlendsson of LightningInsider.com reports.
Impact: Walcott played in just five games with AHL Syracuse last season after moving down to the minors. It seems the 25-year-old is not yet back to 100 percent, given his limitations in training camp. Whenever he does get the all-clear, the Quebec native will be reassigned to the minors in the hopes of jump starting his career.
News: Condon (hip), along with Louis Domingue, will be placed on waivers if the Lightning can't find trade partners prior to Sept. 20, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports. It's not all bad news for Condon, as he appears to have recovered from his hip issue, per Erik Erlendsson of LightningInsider.com.
Impact: Bringing in Condon via trade was nothing more than a salary dump for the Lightning and he was never going to get the chance to play in Tampa Bay. The netminder's disastrous 2018-19 campaign will make a trade nearly impossible, not to mention his $3 million cap hit. Condon will likely have to settle for some time in the minors proving he's rediscovered his game before a team takes a crack at him.
News: The Lightning are looking to trade Domingue, but will waive him by Sept. 20 if a deal can't be found, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Domingue was always going to be on the outs with Tampa Bay once the club signed Curtis McElhinney to serve as the No. 2 behind Andrei Vasilevskiy. Landing spots for Domingue are likely limited, but there are several teams that could use a quality backup. If the club is forced to place the Quebec native on waivers, it seems almost impossible that he would go unclaimed.
News: Point (contract dispute) wasn't included on Tampa Bay's initial training camp roster.
Impact: The Lightning are still confident that they'll be able to come to terms with Point on a new deal prior to their Opening Night matchup with the Panthers, so at this juncture there's no reason to believe the 23-year-old forward will miss any regular-season action. The 2014 third-round pick is due for a massive pay raise after exploding for a career-high 41 goals and 92 points in 79 games last campaign.
News: Stamkos enters the season seven goals from 400 in his NHL career.
Impact: Sure, Stammer suffered through several injuries in his prime, but he can snipe. He's also just 34 points from 800, another milestone that's well within reach for the 29-year-old pivot. Stamkos is coming off a career year (98 points) and isn't showing any signs of slowing down. Draft him as a 90-plus point center with plenty of goals.
News: Maroon signed a one-year, $900,000 deal with the Lightning on Saturday.
Impact: Maroon took a discounted one-year deal to sign with his hometown Blues last season, and he'll join another contender this season fresh off the Stanley Cup victory. The 31-year-old had 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists) in 74 games last season while laying out 135 hits.
News: Hedman (undisclosed) told NHL.com's David Satriano that he's 100 percent healthy ahead of Tampa Bay's training camp Thursday.
Impact: Hedman missed the Lightning's last four regular-season contests and the final two games of his team's first-round loss to the Blue Jackets due to an undisclosed injury last year, but he's apparently been partaking in his normal training regimen this summer and feels fully recovered ahead of September's training camp. The 28-year-old Swede, who was a finalist for the Norris Trophy for a third consecutive campaign in 2018-19, will remain an elite fantasy option in 2019-20, and shouldn't have any trouble posting double-digit goals and 40-plus assists for a fourth straight season if he's able to avoid the injury bug.
News: Shattenkirk inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with Tampa Bay on Monday.
Impact: Shattenkirk -- who was officially bought out by the Rangers on Aug. 1 -- will now follow in the steps of former New York/Tampa Bay defenseman Dan Girardi by trying to revitalize his career with a move south. With his new club, the veteran Shattenkirk could find himself paired up with Victor Hedman as well as possibly seeing minutes with the No. 2 power-play unit, both of which would bolster his fantasy value heading into the 2019-20 campaign.
News: Condon (hip) was acquired by the Lightning, along with a 2020 sixth-round pick, from the Senators in exchange for Ryan Callahan and a 2020 fifth-round selection.
Impact: Condon's days in Ottawa were numbered, especially considering he was earning $3 million while playing in the minors. The significantly more financially viable Lightning won't have the same concerns and get some added cap relief by moving off Callahan's (back) contract. Curtis McElhinney will likely earn the No. 2 job in training camp, which means Condon figures to spend the bulk of the year with AHL Syracuse.
News: Vasilevskiy put pen to paper on an eight-year, $76 million contract extension with Tampa Bay on Monday, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Impact: With the deal set to kick in starting with the 2020-21 campaign, the Lightning have locked up Vasilevskiy for the next nine seasons. Even coming off a Vezina Trophy-winning campaign, the franchise netminder won't be the highest paid goalie in the league. Carey Price carries a $10.5 million AAV, though the term on Vasilevskiy's deal was likely too much for the 25-year-old to pass up. The Russian came up just one victory short of hitting the 40-win mark last year, but should be capable of challenging for that threshold in 2019-20.
News: Masin agreed to a one-year, two-way contract with the Lightning on Wednesday.
Impact: Masin was not extended a qualifying offer by Tampa Bay this offseason, but found his way back with the team after all. The 23-year-old suited up in 69 games with AHL Syracuse during the 2018-19 season, posting two goals and 12 points to go along with a plus-36 rating. The Czech-born player will likely spend a majority of his time in the minors again in 2019-20.
News: Brassart signed a one-year contract with the Stavanger Oilers in Norway on Monday.
Impact: Brassart started his professional playing career in 2013-14, but he was never able to break into the NHL, instead splitting time between the ECHL and AHL over six seasons. The 26-year-old Canadian will almost certainly remain overseas for the rest of his career.
News: Thomas signed a one-year, two-way deal with Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
Impact: Thomas spent three seasons playing with AHL Syracuse after being selected by the Lightning in the fourth round of the 2014 NHL Draft. The blueliner figures to spend the bulk of the 2019-20 campaign in the minors, but could finally make his NHL debut.
News: Smith agreed Sunday with the Lightning on a one-year, two-way contract, CapFriendly.com reports.
Impact: The deal is worth $700,000 at the NHL level. Smith spent the 2018-19 campaign in the Stars and Bruins organizations, appearing in three NHL contests and 47 AHL games, tallying 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) during his time in the minors.
News: Verhaeghe signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Lightning on Friday.
Impact: Coming off a career-best, 82-point campaign with AHL Syracuse in 2018-19, Verhaeghe decided it was best to remain with the Lightning organization. The 23-year-old returns to Tampa Bay on a one-year, two-way deal and will hope that his breakout season -- even though it came in the minors -- was enough to warrant an NHL call-up in 2019-20. Drafted by the Maple Leafs in the third round of the 2013 draft (82nd overall), Verhaeghe has yet to dress in an NHL game.
News: Paquette agreed to terms on a two-year, $3.3 million contract extension with the Lightning on Friday, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Paquette skated in a bottom-six role for Tampa Bay in 2018-19, tallying 13 goals and 17 points while racking up 269 hits in 80 games. The 25-year-old will continue to be an important piece up front for the Lightning over the next two seasons due to his physicality, but his lack of offensive upside will keep him off the radar in most fantasy formats.
News: Martel signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Lightning on Thursday, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Martel sat as a healthy scratch more often than not in 2018-19, finishing the campaign with two assists in nine appearances with the big club. He'll likely have a similar role with the Lightning in 2019-20, so there's no reason for fantasy owners to concern themselves with his status.
News: Fucale inked an AHL-only contract with the Syracuse Crunch on Monday.
Impact: Fucale spent the season with the Golden Knights' farm system, and would have struggled to find time had he gone back. The netminder will get a chance with the Crunch, but could find himself in the ECHL. He went 20-9-1 along with a 3.18 GAA and .894 save percentage in 34 games with ECHL Fort Wayne last season
News: Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois announced that the team would not re-sign Dan Girardi, Bryan Burns of the Lightning's official site reports.
Impact: Girardi has been a vital part of the Lightning's defensive group over the last two seasons, suiting up in 139 regular season contests during that span. The 35-year-old blueliner can still provide a touch of offense, but more importantly, some veteran leadership in the locker room. He shouldn't have trouble securing a short-term NHL deal this offseason.
News: Mueller signed a one-year, two-way contract with Tampa Bay on Monday.
Impact: Mueller will almost certainly spend next season with AHL Syracuse as he hasn't seen any NHL action since the 2014-15 season. The 33-year-old forward will give the team some quality organizational depth as he pocketed 33 goals and 65 points with AHL Toronto last season.
News: Martin secured a one-year, two-way deal with the Lightning on Monday.
Impact: The Lightning signed three goaltenders Monday, as Martin and Scott Wedgewood will likely spend most of the 2019-20 campaign with AHL Syracuse. Martin has appeared in just three NHL games, all coming during the 2016-17 season with Chicago. The 24-year-old recorded a .902 save percentage and 3.40 GAA with AHL Colorado last season.
News: Wedgewood signed a one-year, two-way deal with Tampa Bay on Monday.
Impact: The Lightning also signed goalies Curtis McElhinney and Spencer Martin on Monday, so Wedgewood will almost certainly start the year with AHL Syracuse. The 26-year-old has appeared in just 24 NHL contests in his career, recording a 3.05 GAA and .903 save percentage. He shouldn't see any playing time with the big club barring any injuries.
News: Witkowski signed a two-year, two-way contract with Tampa Bay on Monday.
Impact: Witkowski's career began in Tampa Bay, as the Lightning snagged him with a sixth-round (160th overall) pick in 2008. He took his talents to his native Detroit ahead of the 2017-18 season, but with Ken Holland leaving his GM post for Edmonton, there was no longer a fit for the physical defenseman who has a limited offensive skill set.
News: Stralman signed a three-year, $16.5 million contract with the Panthers on Monday.
Impact: Stralman cashed in on a weak blue line free agent class, actually getting a $1 million raise in annual salary compared to his last contract while joining a Florida team that's been extremely active in free agency. He's served as a steady defensive presence for the in-state rival Lightning over the past few years, but Stralman's more of a shut down type than an offensive force. He hasn't scored more than 22 points in any of the past three seasons and will turn 33 years old in August.
News: McElhinney signed a two-year, $2.6 million contract with Tampa Bay on Monday, Pierre LeBrun of TSN reports.
Impact: McElhinney's move to Tampa likely means Louis Domingue is on the market, as the club isn't going to carry three netminders or pay one of them over $1 million to sit in the minors. The 35-year-old McElhinney joins the club after registering a career-high 20 wins in 2018-19 and should give the Bolts plenty of coverage to rest starter Andrei Vasilevskiy down the stretch in the hopes of avoiding a similar postseason fate.
News: Schenn signed a one-year, $700,000 contract with Tampa Bay on Monday, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Schenn played in a mere 26 games for Vancouver and Arizona last season and failed to record a goal for the first time in his NHL career. The blueliner could find minutes a little easier to come by with the Lightning, though he shouldn't be expected to reach the 20-point mark, which he hasn't done since 2011-12 when he was with Toronto.
News: Gallant, contrary to earlier reports, didn't receive a qualifying offer from the Golden Knights, per Jesse Granger of The Athletic.
Impact: Gallant managed just two points in 47 appearances with AHL Chicago this season and hasn't been able to crack an NHL roster. At this point, the 26-year-old may need to move overseas if he wants to continue his professional career.
News: Thomas didn't receive a qualifying offer from Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
Impact: Thomas has been a pretty steady blue-line contributor for AHL Syracuse over the past three seasons, notching 59 points in 210 games, so he'll likely get another look with a different organization on a two-way deal this offseason.
News: Tampa Bay didn't extend Masin a qualifying offer Tuesday.
Impact: The 2014 second-round pick, who picked up 12 points in 69 AHL appearances this season, will thus become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
News: Paquette has received a qualifying offer from the Lightning, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports.
Impact: Paquette is set to reprise his role among Tampa Bay's bottom six after scoring 13 goals and 17 points in 80 games last season. While Tampa's teeming with high-end fantasy talent, Paquette is more of a fringe contributor given his focus on physical play.
News: Martel has received a qualifying offer from the Lightning, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports.
Impact: Martel had trouble cracking a stacked Tampa Bay lineup last season, posting two assists in just nine appearances. His experience in 2019-20 is likely to be similar.
News: Erne was tendered a qualifying offer by Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
Impact: Erne is coming off a career year with the Lightning, in which he set personal bests in games played (65), goals (seven), assists (13) and shots (70). If the 23-year-old can continue his development, he could challenge for the 30-point mark in 2019-20. The winger's qualifying offer would see him playing on a one-year, two-way deal worth $840,000.
News: Point was handed a qualifying offer by the Lightning on Tuesday.
Impact: There was zero chance Tampa Bay wasn't going to give Point a qualifying offer in order to retain his contract rights. After putting up 92 points (41 goals) in 2018-19, the Bolts will no doubt be eager to lock up the center on a long-term deal. Considering 35 of his 92 points came on the power-play, the Calgary native should be near the top of most fantasy draft boards this offseason.
News: Foote signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Lightning on Tuesday.
Impact: This move officially kicks off the rookie first-rounder's professional career. Foote's transition to the pros should be eased by the presence of older brother Cal, who is already in the Lightning's system.
News: Cajkovic was drafted 89th overall by the Lightning at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft on Saturday.
Impact: The first-overall selection in the 2018 CHL Import Draft, Cajkovic was tasked with carrying the load for a dreadful Saint John (QMJHL) Sea Dogs team. And all things considered (22 goals, 46 points in 60 games), he did a heck of a job. It's always difficult to get a read on draft-eligible prospects when they play on such poor clubs. Is Cajkovic really that talented? Or did he have the puck the entire game because there was no one else on his team who could make a play? Cajkovic has proven he thinks the game well and has an above-average offensive skill set. There is some risk involved with this selection, but Tampa Bay was smart to take the gamble at this point in the draft.
News: Alnefelt was drafted 71st overall by the Lightning at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft on Saturday.
Impact: He's not in the same class as Florida first-round selection Spencer Knight, but there is a real case to be made that Alnefelt might be the second-best goaltender available in this draft. The Swede has continued to progress with HV71's junior program in his native country and he played well for Sweden at the recently completed World U-18 tournament. Tampa has the best goaltender in the league on its roster in Andrei Vasilevskiy, but the Lightning still need to plan for the future and Alnefelt helps in that regard in a major way.
News: Mazanec was traded along with draft picks from Vancouver to Tampa Bay in exchange for J.T. Miller on Saturday, reports Bob McKenzie of TSN.ca.
Impact: Mazanec is 27 and he's moved a lot in the last few months -- he had only arrived in Vancouver in February following a trade with Nashville. He did not dress for the Canucks. Mazanec could compete for the backup role in Tampa Bay, but that's all. The number one seat in Lightning land is locked up solid with Andrei Vasilevskiy.
News: Foote was drafted 27th overall by the Lightning at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft on Friday.
Impact: This is an off-the-board pick, so the Bolts must have seen something in his game to make this move. Foote's shot is NHL-ready and his older brother, Cal, is already in the Tampa system. And Nolan also has some of his dad, Adam, with his immense compete. This Foote needs serious work on his feet -- they're below average and that means a lot of work to fit into today's NHL. The Bolts will wait on his arrival in the NHL and so should you.
News: The Lightning placed Callahan on long-term injured reserve Thursday due to a degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine.
Impact: Callahan was considered a candidate for buyout, but it appears he may have already played the last game of his hockey career. The veteran collected just 17 points over 52 games with the Lightning during 2018-19 and officially remains under contract through 2019-20.
News: Vasilevskiy took home the Vezina Trophy at Wednesday's NHL Awards.
Impact: Vasilevskiy becomes just the second Russian netminder (Sergei Bobrovsky) to win the Vezina. The 24-year-old Vasilevskiy racked up a league-leading 39 wins this season, along with a .925 save percentage and 2.40 GAA. Vasilevskiy is heading into the 2019-20 campaign on the final year of a bridge deal he signed in July of 2016 and will no doubt be eager to get back over the 40-win mark after coming up just one shy this year.
News: Kucherov won the Hart Trophy at Wednesday's NHL Awards.
Impact: It was the first Hart Trophy win for Kucherov and the second in franchise history (Martin St. Louis in 2003-04). The 25-year-old Kucherov reached the 100-point mark for the second time in his career, setting personal bests in goals (41), assists (87) and shooting percentage (16.7). There is no reason to doubt Kucherov can reach that milestone again in 2019-20 and he should be considered among the top five picks in all fantasy formats.