Christmas came a day early for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Anthony Cirelli signed a 3-year bridge contract worth $14.4. Although this is great news for the Lightning, they are still dealing with the problem of being cap compliant by January 13th.
According to Spotrac, the Tampa Bay Lightning has $91,154,166 in the total allocated cap. 2020-2021 NHL salary cap max is $81,500,000. As you can see, even though Anthony Cirelli signed, it still leaves them $10 million away from cap compliance.
This news couldn’t have come at a better time. With the season-long injury to Nikita Kucherov, the Lightning needed to make sure they signed all the important pieces of the team. Cirelli is a huge part of the team.
Trying to Get Cap Compliance
Before Anthony Cirelli signed his bridge contract, the Lightning placed Nikita Kucherov on Long Time Injured Reserve. This placed $9.5 million toward the cap. The problem is, they are still needing to cut $10 million before the start of the 2020-2021 season. They would have to make more moves for this to work.
First, the Lightning can add more players to the taxi squad. They would have to put a few players on waivers before they can place them on the taxi squad. This would solve the problem in the short term.
Another plan they could do is make a trade. Tyler Johnson would be a good choice. He is a center due to make $3.75 million this season. At the same time, it will be hard to work with Johnson because he has a no-trade clause in his contract.
Trading would be a best-case scenario. If the Lightning shortens their lineup that just devalues some players they will need to clear through waivers to put on the taxi squad. That is as long as they take the waived players back or else another team can. Pick them up for close to nothing.
A trade will always take cash off the books and can get a draft pick especially a second if Tyler Johnson is involved. There s also a possibility that they could pick up a prospect for a trade that will be cost-effective.
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