Monday, September 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Steve Yzerman: Lightning won’t re-sign forward Chris Kunitz

As expected, Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he does not intend to re-sign veteran forward Chris Kunitz, who will seek his fifth Stanley Cup with a different team next season.

Kunitz, 38, brought much-needed playoff experience in his lone season with the Lightning, finishing with 13 goals and 16 assists. With the team needing salary-cap room to keep other younger players longterm, his departure will create an opening for the 2018-19 roster.

"I've spoken with Chris, told him we're not going to be offering him a contract," Yzerman told reporters Friday in advance of the NHL draft. "He wants to continue to play. That was clear. He wants to play."

In advance of free agency, Yzerman said he hopes to be able to sign all of the team's restricted free agents: forwards J.T. Miller, Cedric Paquette and Adam Erne, as well as defenseman Slater Koekkoek and goalie Louis Domingue.

Tampa Bay traded away goalie Peter Budaj, so Yzerman said his preference would be to have Domingue as his backup to Andrei Vasilevskiy in the upcoming season, with contract discusssions but no agreement reached yet.

— On not having a first-round pick tonight, having traded it to the Rangers in February: "We got Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller. We can live without the first. It's not something you want to do or plan to do every year. At times, you have to make those decisions. We're excited. We have seven draft picks. It's a challenge for our scouts now to go to work and find prospects. We believe these guys have done a good job at finding prospects beyond the first round."

— On potentially trading back into the first round: "It's certainly worth looking into. … I've explored those possibilities. Unless I want to move a good player off our team for a first-round pick, which doesn't make sense to do that, I don't see us being able to get anything done tonight."

— On Victor Hedman winning the Norris Trophy: "We're very happy for Victor, obviously. As you all know, he's a really good person, really good man, such a great attitude and a fun guy to have around. He's played really, really well. Each year he's gotten better and better. Such a huge part of our team on the ice and in the locker room."

— On finding replacements for associate head coach Rick Bowness and assistant Brad Lauer. "Soon. We'll have a coaching staff by the time training camp starts."

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Lightning journal: Roster trimmed to 28

Lightning journal: Roster trimmed to 28

TAMPA – After Sunday morning, the Lightning sat five cuts away from having a 23-man roster to start the regular season.It cut its training camp roster by 27, leaving 28 players on the roster with the start of the regular season less than two we...
Published: 09/23/18
Lightning forward prospect Boris Katchouk putting together strong preseason

Lightning forward prospect Boris Katchouk putting together strong preseason

TAMPA — As the end of training camp looms, there's no clear-cut answer as to how the Lightning will fill the one, maybe two open forward spots in its lineup.It could go with Adam Erne. Spending much of his time in AHL Syracuse the past three se...
Published: 09/22/18
Lightning journal: ‘No-risk’ forward pickup; another preseason win; Fan Fest on Sunday

Lightning journal: ‘No-risk’ forward pickup; another preseason win; Fan Fest on Sunday

TAMPA — It didn't take long for Lightning GM Julien BriseBois to decide he wanted to put a waiver claim in Friday.Not when he saw that F Danick Martel was available."He's a player we have had on our radar for a while, going back to actually his...
Published: 09/22/18
Lightning journal: Adam Erne looks to stick in Tampa

Lightning journal: Adam Erne looks to stick in Tampa

Forward Adam Erne flicks the puck into the net, but he has no time to celebrate.He flips around. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Snow flies off his skates. Erne then squares his body as he arrives in the defensive zone, steps away from the net.Within a secon...
Published: 09/21/18
Lightning falls to Hurricanes again in preseason

Lightning falls to Hurricanes again in preseason

The Lightning did not fare much better in its second preseason crack at the Hurricanes.In fact, it did worse.It lost 6-1 Wednesday in Raleigh, N.C.Carolina put a much more veteran team on the ice than it did Tuesday in winning Tampa Bay's preseason o...
Published: 09/19/18
Second-round pick Gabriel Fortier among Lightning’s early cuts

Second-round pick Gabriel Fortier among Lightning’s early cuts

One round of cuts down, several more to go.The Lightning cut seven players on Wednesday, five of whom were training camp invitees, the team announced. All seven players were assigned to juniors.Gabriel Fortier was the most notable cut. The Lightning'...
Published: 09/19/18
Lightning journal: Can Mathieu Joseph sneak his way onto the opening-day roster?

Lightning journal: Can Mathieu Joseph sneak his way onto the opening-day roster?

It remains to be seen if F Mathieu Joseph will make the Lightning's roster. If he doesn't, it certainly won't be because of a lack of opportunities.Joseph saw time on the Lightning power play and penalty kill on Tuesday at Amalie Arena when Tampa Bay...
Published: 09/19/18
Hockey News poll: Lightning favored to win Stanley Cup, other awards

Hockey News poll: Lightning favored to win Stanley Cup, other awards

Falling just short of winning a championship the past few seasons has done nothing to erode fans' confidence in the Lightning.Not just locally, but also nationally and across Canada.The Lightning is the runaway favorite to win the Stanley C...
Published: 09/19/18
Lightning journal: Alex Killorn’s just puttin’ on the Fitz

Lightning journal: Alex Killorn’s just puttin’ on the Fitz

TAMPA — How big is FitzMagic? It has hit the Lightning, too.Proving that Harvard guys stick together, Lightning forward Alex Killorn showed support for fellow Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick by, sort of, dressing up the way Fitzpatrick did after ...
Published: 09/19/18
Even if it’s just preseason, it matters

Even if it’s just preseason, it matters

TAMPA — It's a little after 10 o'clock on Tuesday morning.The NHL's intense regular season is still more than three weeks away. The uber-intense Stanley Cup playoffs are still seven months away.But, on this particular September day on a sheet o...
Published: 09/18/18