Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning plans Matt Carle buyout to free salary cap space

FILE - In this May 16, 2016, file photo, Tampa Bay Lightning's Matt Carle plays during the second period of Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Eastern Conference finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins, in Pittsburgh. A person with direct knowledge of the moves tells The Associated Press that Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Matt Carle and Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg are among the players on buyout waivers. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity Thursday, June 30, 2016,  because the teams didn't announce their decisions. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File) NY169

FILE - In this May 16, 2016, file photo, Tampa Bay Lightning's Matt Carle plays during the second period of Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Eastern Conference finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins, in Pittsburgh. A person with direct knowledge of the moves tells The Associated Press that Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Matt Carle and Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg are among the players on buyout waivers. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity Thursday, June 30, 2016, because the teams didn't announce their decisions. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File) NY169

The Lightning will buy out veteran defenseman Matt Carle, giving it much-needed salary cap relief heading into the opening of free agency at noon today.

Carle, 31, was put on buyout waivers by Thursday's 5 p.m. deadline and will be an unrestricted free agent today if he clears.

Carle was Tampa Bay's highest-paid defenseman last season at $5.5 million, and he was under contract for two more seasons. But his role was declining. He was often a healthy scratch last season, including in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final against the Penguins. His buyout would save $3.67 million off the cap each of the next two seasons and be spread out over the next four at a $1.833 million cap hit each season.

Slater Koekkoek, who got key playing time in the playoffs, should get a shot at cracking the top six or seven next season. So should Nikita Nesterov, a restricted free agent, and Luke Witkowski.

With Steven Stamkos signed to an eight-year, $68 million deal Wednesday and Carle expected to get bought out, the Lightning has roughly $13 million in cap space left for next season, the NHL salary website generalfanager.com says. General manager Steve Yzerman said he didn't expect to do anything significant in free agency, other than re-sign his own players.

A key priority is restricted free agent wing Nikita Kucherov, who is coming off a 30-goal season and due a hefty raise over the $700,000 he made last season. The Predators' six-year, $36 million deal with center Filip Forsberg could be a potential market-setter for Kucherov. Yzerman said the Lightning had begun discussions with Kucherov's camp, but no deal appeared imminent. The Lightning also needs to re-sign restricted free agents Alex Killorn, Vladislav Namestnikov and Nesterov, among a few others.

Nuts and bolts: Former Lightning assistant coach Steve Thomas, who wasn't brought back for next season, was hired by the Blues as an assistant.

Lightning plans Matt Carle buyout to free salary cap space 06/30/16 [Last modified: Thursday, June 30, 2016 9:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  2. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  3. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  5. What they're saying about Dave Andreychuk making Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    "Dave helped me so much when I was just starting my career, a young kid that was looking to find his way as a hockey player, a person and a member of the Tampa Bay community. In addition to watching him compile such awe-inspiring statistics, I remember him as a big brother to me and many others, making sure all the …