Tag: Mattias Ohlund

Andrej Sustr

Lightning, Sustr agree on two-year extension


The Tampa Bay Lightning announced that they have signed Andrej Sustr to a two-year contract extension.

Tampa Bay didn’t release the financial terms of the deal other than to confirm that it’s one-way, but the contract is worth $2.9 million, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun. That’s up from his 2014-15 salary of roughly $874K.

The 24-year-old defenseman participated in his first full NHL campaign last season and registered 13 assists in 72 contests. He also blocked 84 shots and logged 17:42 minutes of ice time per game, including an average of 1:28 shorthanded minutes.

He went on to participate in all 26 of Tampa Bay’s 2015 playoff games during its run to the Stanley Cup Final. He had a goal and an assist and averaged 15:14 minutes per contest.

Tampa Bay now has seven defensemen inked to one-way contracts worth more than $1 million annually, although that includes Mattias Ohlund who hasn’t played since 2011. Ohlund just has one more campaign left on his contract before he’s off the books.

The Lightning didn’t give Mark Barberio a qualifying offer so the 25-year-old blueliner is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent. However, they still need to re-sign RFA Luke Witkowski.

Tampa Bay’s cap situation is still pretty promising

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers - Game Seven

It’s only natural to look at some upcoming salary cap hurdles and wonder if the Tampa Bay Lightning will stumble while trying to justify all the “team of the future” talk.

Steven Stamkos will command a monster deal after next season. Victor Hedman’s $4 million bargain cap hit dries up after 2016-17. Yikes, right?

MORE: Debating Stamkos’ next contract

Actually, if you dig a little deeper, their opponents should panic instead. Just ponder these nuggets:

Note: As mentioned in the comments, the original version of this article had a mix-up regarding the Lightning’s available cap space. They’re actually closer to $1.1 million. This post has been modified with that in mind. Apologies for the error.

Almost unfair bargains

Just consider this: Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn carry a combined salary cap hit of about $10 million. Johnson and Palat are locked up at their bargain rates of $3.33 million apiece through 2016-17.

Jonathan Drouin didn’t make an impact at the NHL level, yet players of his ilk often make big jumps … and he’s just one of some impressive players Tampa Bay has in its pipeline.

Oh yeah, the Lightning also have 10 picks in the upcoming draft, even if the excess leans toward later rounds.

It almost feels like cheating, doesn’t it?

source: AP
Via AP

Evaporating deals

The flip side of that previous point is that said players will eventually get raises, but their RFA statuses could greatly reduce those worries, anyway.

Either way, relief could come in other forms. Braydon Coburn’s $4.5 million could very well be diverted into Stamkos’ bank account. Mattias Ohlund’s LTIR-bound deal ends after 2015-16. Heck, the Lightning may decide to save some cash and turn to Andrei Vasilevskiy over Ben Bishop long-term, as Bishop’s $5.95 million cap hit expires after 2016-17.

(And Bishop’s surplus could go to Hedman’s raise. Yup, GM Steve Yzerman is practicing some black magic …)

The unknown

What if the 2016-17 salary cap is a lot friendlier than what we expect from next season? Could a possible expansion help teams like the Lightning farm off less-than-friendly contracts? Yzerman may just have a deft hand in getting players to sign cheaper deals, too.


The Lightning aren’t necessarily on easy street – those young players and stars like Stamkos won’t be cheap – yet the team’s outlook indicates that they’ll remain a team to beat for some time.

Bieksa’s eye injury not ‘as serious as what people think it is’

Nashville Predators v Vancouver Canucks
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From the Vancouver Sun’s Elliott Pap, after Canucks defensemen Kevin Bieksa left last night’s game versus Nashville with an apparent eye injury:

You’ll forgive Canucks fans for fearing the worst. This is an organization, after all, that’s had to deal with two serious eye injuries, to Mattias Ohlund in 1999 and to Manny Malhotra in 2011.

Bieksa will apparently join the Canucks on their upcoming road trip, though he’s questionable for Tuesday’s game in Denver. If he can’t play, expect Ryan Stanton to take his spot.

Also expect rookie Bo Horvat to make his NHL debut versus the Avs, in place of injured forward Tom Sestito.