Ondrej Palat’s big rookie season in the NHL has a big payoff.
The Tampa Bay Lightning announced they’ve re-signed the 23-year-old Czech to a three-year deal. ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun reports the deal is worth $10 million.
Palat scored 23 goals and had 59 points this season in Tampa and is a finalist for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. Palat and fellow Calder finalist Tyler Johnson teamed up to take the Lightning by storm with their success this season. Coach Jon Cooper used their chemistry from their time in the AHL together in Syracuse to their advantage to get the team back to the postseason.
Fun fact: Palat and Johnson have the same exact contract now.
In the playoffs, Palat had two goals and three points in three games as the Lightning were swept out by the Montreal Canadiens.
Palat’s big season was good enough to get him noticed by the Czech National Team as he participated in the 2014 Sochi Games. He was a seventh-round pick of the Lightning back in 2011 and is expected to pick up where he left off this season.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Here’s a detailed look back at Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin‘s first 10 years in the NHL. (NHL.com)
Speaking of Crosby, he’s signed a multiyear partnership with adidas. (Newswire)
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will play a key role in easing Connor McDavid into the NHL. (Edmonton Sun)
After two polar opposite seasons, the jury is still out on Patrick Roy as a head coach. (Denver Post)
Marc-Andre Fleury enjoys pulling off pranks on his teammates. “I play better when I’m looser, laughing and having fun,” he said. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
Art McDonald, a Canadian who won recently won a Nobel Prize, talked to the committee members about the Toronto Maple Leafs. (SB Nation)
The St. Louis Blues named Rob DiMaio their director of player personnel on Tuesday.
He’s been with the organization for some time. He joined as a pro scout in 2008 and was the pro scouting director starting in August 2012.
He was also a scout for the Dallas Stars before landing with the Blues (one would assume his biggest connection is GM Doug Armstrong, then).
In case his nose didn’t give it away, he also enjoyed a lengthy hockey career over 19 seasons.
No doubt about it, this is a pivotal season for the Blues after multiple campaigns in which strong regular seasons dissolved into playoff disappointments. Perhaps DiMaio can make a difference in a heightened role?