The Tampa Bay Lightning are two-time Stanley Cup champions, but they’re not without their share of controversies. The league isn’t fond of the way the Lightning have gamed salary cap rules.
Nevertheless, the two-time defending champs are going to have to make tough decisions in order to free up enough space for next season. That’s because
That means the Lightning have to decide what they want to do with the rest of their roster, and how they’re going to use that unused space. General manager Julien BriseBois says the top priority is to re-sign restricted free agents Anthony Cirelli, Victor Hedman, Erik Cernak and Mikhail Sergachev, who all have significant cap hits coming off their current contracts.
He’s also looking to retain a few quality players who’ll be unrestricted free agents after 2022-23, including forward Ross Colton and improving defenseman Cal Foote. Those aren’t huge names, but both have strong playoffs to their credit and will likely be in the mix for a raise.
What is Tampa Bay Salary Cap Situation?
Tampa Bay will have a huge task ahead of them in 2023 as they try to become salary cap compliant. A large part of that is going to come from reworking some of the veteran contracts they currently have on their roster.
Restructuring is a way for teams to convert some of a player’s base salaries into a “bonus” that’s prorated over the remaining years of the contract. This allows them to create a lot of immediate cap space while still leaving them with a lower salary cap hit than they would have if they simply let the players go.
One of the biggest restructure candidates on the team is linebacker Lavonte David. If he restructures his deal he could save the Bucs anywhere from $2.8 million to 5.0 million in dead money over two years and that’s a big chunk of their current cap space.
Another restructure candidate that I’d like to see Tampa Bay try is center Anthony Cirelli. If he restructures his contract he could save them anywhere from $3.5 million to 5.0 million in dead money over the two years and that’s a big cap savings for Tampa Bay while also giving them a chance to add a new long-term center that can take some of the pressure off of Cirelli.
Is Tampa Bay Lightning Salary Cap?
The Tampa Bay Lightning are one of the best teams in the NHL. They’ve mastered the art of salary cap management to become two-time Stanley Cup champions.
That’s thanks to general manager Julien BriseBois, who exploited every loophole and didn’t hesitate to shed salary when the stars aligned. That’s how the Lightning landed captain Steven Stamkos on LTIR before the trade deadline in May, and also how Nikita Kucherov was able to come back from an arthroscopic knee surgery before the playoffs began last year.
It’s not just Kucherov who took advantage of the system; forwards Alex Killorn and Victor Hedman were both LTIRs this season, so they too could play without adding to their salary.
The Lightning’s current roster includes 12 players who are either restricted free agents or expected to be in the final season of their contracts. Re-signing defensemen Victor Hedman, Alex Cirelli and Andrei Sergachev is the team’s top priority this summer. That will leave the Lightning with a few open spots, so they’ll have to find ways to fill them with affordable rentals.
How are the Lightning 18 Million Over the Cap?
There’s no doubt the NHL is getting more and more criticized for how it’s handling salary cap issues, and that’s not a good thing. But Tampa Bay isn’t breaking any rules, as they are following the system that was set by the NHL through the CBA.
First, the Lightning used a loophole that allows teams to hide healthy players on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) until the playoffs begin. That allowed Nikita Kucherov, Marian Gaborik and Anders Nilsson to be on the ice without counting against their salaries.
That’s a win for the team and Kucherov, who was able to recover from hip surgery in December and score 32 points in 23 postseason games. That’s a huge improvement over the season before, when he had just two goals in 20 playoff games.
The Lightning also have a good deal of cap room to sign big restricted free agents next summer. General Manager Julien BriseBois has made it clear that he wants to add a few big-name veterans near the minimum salary.
How Much Cap Room Does Tampa Bay Have?
The Tampa Bay Lightning have
The top priority is to re-sign restricted free agents Alexei Sergachev, Ryan Cirelli and David Cernak. These three are expected to receive significant raises from their current deals and can command top-of-the-market deals in the next year or two.
They also hope to retain Ross Colton and improve on defenseman Cal Foote, both of whom can become restricted free agents after 2022-23.
They will have to figure out how to fit forward Zach Bogosian and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy on their roster. However, since both will start the season on LTIR (Long Term Injured Reserve), there’s no reason to have them added as part of the regular lineup.
Is Tampa Overpriced?
The Tampa Bay Lightning have been one of the most successful hockey franchises in history. They have won three Stanley Cups and made back-to-back Stanley Cup Final appearances, which is an impressive feat for a franchise that was founded in 1992.
That’s why it’s important to understand how the Lightning are valued in the NHL, and whether they’re overpriced or not. Forbes has released its annual list of the most valuable NHL teams and the Lightning rank 23rd, up from 24th last year.
In terms of value, the Lightning have had a lot of ups and downs. The organization has been through three ownership groups, including Oren Koules, the OK Hockey Group and now Jeff Vinik.
Vinik is a great businessman and has worked hard to improve the team. He also has a long list of philanthropic programs, such as his “Lightning Community Heroes” program that has raised over $20 million for non-profits in the area.
Why is Tampa Inflation So High?
The Tampa Bay area has one of the highest inflation rates in the country. According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Tampa-area residents are now paying 10.5% more for goods and services than a year ago.
The rate is significantly higher than the national average. It also hasn’t been this high in years, going back to 2021.
Inflation is a major concern for many people, especially around the holidays when families are making plans and buying gifts. This is why it’s important to keep an eye on what’s going on in the economy and how it’s affecting your finances.
As you can see, inflation is a real problem and it’s not only hurting families, but also small businesses and local economies. The good news is that the price of gas has started to drop, which is helping to slow inflation in some cities.
What Happens When an NHL Team Goes Over the Cap?
The NHL has a salary cap, which limits the amount of money a team can spend on player salaries. The cap is set by a collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players’ union. The cap is adjusted each season based on inflation, and each team’s cap is determined by the total amount of cash it spent during the previous four-year period.
When a team goes over the salary cap, they must pay penalties in the following season. These penalties range from a few thousand dollars to a few million dollars depending on how much the team over-spent during the season.
One way teams have found to avoid these penalties is by using long-term injured reserve. This allows them to remain compliant on opening day and gives them a temporary boost in cap space for the rest of the season.
The other way teams have managed to stay under the salary cap is by signing front-loaded contracts with players who have been in the NHL for a number of years. Often, these deals are in excess of the league’s annual average salary.
Learn More Here:
2.) Salary Data
3.) Job Salaries