Lightning GM Steve Yzerman says team and RW Teddy Purcell move closer on a new deal
The Tampa Bay Lightning and right wing Teddy Purcell still may need arbitration to get a contract done, but general manager Steve Yzerman still has hope it will not get that far. In fact, Yzerman said Thursday night that after a "good, long" conversation with Purcell's agent Kent Hughes, the sides are "not considerably far apart."
"I don't think it's out of the question," Yzerman said of getting something done before the July 20 arbitration hearing in Toronto.
Yzerman still would not say "with 100 percent certainty" he would live with whatever might come out of a hearing because "we don't know what an arbitrator will rule. We think we do." But he did sound a positive tone overall.
"I fully expect to see Teddy in the lineup in September and have a contract done," Yzerman said. "Whether it's through the arbitration process or before that, we'll have a contract in place next week."
Hughes could not immediately be reached for comment.
Purcell, 25, who made $750,000 last season, had a breakout year with career highs of 17 goals, 34 points and 51 points in 81 games. He also had five goals, 17 points in 18 playoff games and is expected next season to have a top-six role among forwards.