Tag: J.T. Brown

Steven Stamkos

Stamkos extension ‘No. 1 priority’ this offseason, says Yzerman


Less than 48 hours after losing the Stanley Cup Final, Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman was already back at work.

During Wednesday’s end-of-year media availability, Yzerman told reporters he’d identified his top offseason priority — signing captain Steve Stamkos to an extension, which can be done by July 1 at the earliest.

The news doesn’t come as a huge surprise, given the Lightning don’t have many free agents to deal with. But it is the official start of what promises to be an intriguing negotiation.

Stamkos is heading into the last of a five-year, $37.5 million deal with a $7.5M average annual cap hit. Given he’s one of the NHL’s elite snipers and only turned 25 in February, it’s assumed he’s in line for a raise, with some suggesting he’ll be in conversation to become NHL’s next $10M cap hit, joining Blackhawks stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane (their extensions kick in next season.)

But is Yzerman ready to commit that much money to one player?

If this postseason showed anything, it’s that Tampa has a slew of talented youngsters on the verge of becoming stars. Chief among them was Tyler Johnson, the leading playoff scorer — and while both he and Ondrej Palat are locked in through 2017 at $3.3M per, they’ll almost certainly be getting raises on their next deals.

And they’re not alone.

Nikita Kucherov, a bargain at $711,666 annually, is a RFA after next year. So too are Alex Killorn ($2,5M), Cedric Paquette ($633,333) and J.T. Brown ($950,000). Once Victor Hedman’s $4-million-per-season deal is up, he’ll almost certainly top Matthew Carle ($5.5M annually) as the team’s highest-paid defenseman.

Oh yeah, almost forgot — when Hedman’s deal is up in two year’s time, so too is Ben Bishop’s.

Any potential cap crunch could, of course, be mitigated by how badly Stamkos wants to stay in Tampa. It’s clear the team has the foundation to contend for years to come, meaning his decision could come down to the age-old question:

What’s more important, winning or money?

Do consider what Stamkos said today.

“This was one of, if not the best teams I’ve played on,” he said. “Not just skill wise, but how we got along.

“This was the most fun I’ve ever had playing the game.”

Leafs sign Carrick to one-year extension

J.T. Brown; Sam Carrick

The Toronto Maple Leafs saw enough good things from Sam Carrick this year to keep him around for another.

On Monday, Toronto announced it had signed Carrick, 23, to a one-year contract extension. The deal comes after the former OHL Brampton standout made his NHL debut and appeared in 16 games for the Leafs, scoring two points while averaging 6:29 TOI per game.

Financial terms of the extension weren’t disclosed. Carrick, who was set to become a restricted free agent, had just wrapped his three-year, entry-level deal that paid $631,666 annually.

Though not overly big — listed at 6-foot, 188 pounds — Carrick has made a name for himself as a bottom-six energy guy that works hard, can throw hits and isn’t afraid to fight. Here’s some handiwork from a scrap in March against Tampa Bay’s J.T. Brown:

All told, Carrick has fought 16 times over the last two seasons while down in the AHL with the Marlies.

Lightning get Brian Boyle back for Game 2

Brian Boyle

Brian Boyle was something of a surprise scratch in Game 1 due to an undisclosed injury. The Lightning were secretive about his status in the lead up to Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final tonight, but as it turns out he’s good to go.

Boyle was put back into the lineup and is projected to play alongside Brenden Morrow and J.T. Brown on the fourth line. Vladislav Namestnikov, who skated with Morrow and Brown in Game 1, will be a healthy scratch after dressing in 11 of the Lightning’s first 12 playoff contests. Namestnikov was limited to just 6:52 minutes of ice time on Saturday.

By contrast, Boyle has averaged 15:36 minutes per contest in the postseason, including 2:49 in shorthanded situations. The Lightning suffered a 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers in Game 1 without him.

“(Boyle’s) a big part of our team,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said after that contest. “He kills penalties for us. He’s a big body. He can wear on teams. Of course we miss him.”


On second thought, Game 1 made Lightning’s Cooper ‘want to vomit’

No miracle appearance by Callahan, Lightning go with Marchessault

Jonathan Marchessault
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Lightning coach Jon Cooper didn’t want to completely rule out Ryan Callahan for Game 6 despite the fact that the forward underwent an emergency appendectomy on Monday. Callahan was unsurprisingly not part of the Lightning’s lineup for Tuesday’s contest against Montreal though.

As projected, Cooper instead inserted Jonathan Marchessault into the lineup over Jonathan Drouin. That decision raised a few eyebrows as Drouin is a highly regarded young forward while Marchessault has just four games worth of NHL experience.

That being said, Marchessault has excelled in the minors with 24 goals and 67 points in 68 AHL games this season. He’ll play alongside Cedric Paquette. Tampa Bay is going with seven defensemen with Nikita Nesterov serving as the extra blueliner.

Callahan’s absence is also projected to led to Brenden Morrow playing alongside Brian Boyle and J.T. Brown. Tampa Bay’s top two lines should stay the same.

Lightning’s Paquette (undisclosed) back, Morrow out

Tampa Bay had a lot to be happy about after its 6-2 victory over Montreal in Game 2 on Sunday, but the one blemish was the loss of forward Cedric Paquette. He sustained an undisclosed injury during that contest and couldn’t participate in Game 3 as a result.

Promising rookie Jonathan Drouin was inserted into the lineup as a result, but was held to just 9:54 minutes of playing time and was on the ice for Montreal’s lone goal in the Lightning’s 2-1 victory.

Paquette is ready to return for Game 4 tonight, but rather than push Drouin out again, veteran Brenden Morrow will sit instead. Drouin will play on the fourth line with Brian Boyle and fellow rookie Vladislav Namestnikov. Meanwhile, Paquette is projected to skate alongside Valtteri Filppula and J.T. Brown.

In nine playoff contests, Paquette has scored a goal and averaged 13:08 minutes of ice time.