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.

Related News/Archive

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. Florida football has become something to be endured, not enjoyed

    College

    The Jim McElwain era at Florida is something to be endured, not enjoyed.

    Florida Gators defensive lineman Khairi Clark (54) leaves the field after the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville, Fla. The Florida Gators lost to the Texas A&M Aggies 17-16 MONICA HERNDON   |   Times
.
  2. Cannon Fodder podcast: Most important stat in Bucs-Bills game

    Blogs

    Greg Auman talks about the uncertainty at quarterback for the Bucs as they go to Buffalo in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Interceptions, such as this one by Brent Grimes against Arizona, will be the most important stat in Sunday's game.
  3. Dirk Koetter sounds Bucs alarm: 'They're the players that we have'

    Blogs

    The other day, Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith was asked about the lack of production and pressure from the defensive line, especially off the edge.

    Then it happened.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves (28) takes the field for the start of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game against the New England Patriots on October 5, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
  4. Superiority complex: USF continues to battle schedule, expectations

    College

    Does USF deserve its No. 16 national ranking? Coach Charlie Strong says there's no doubt. He expects that his Bulls can match up with any Division I-A program. (Octavio Jones, Times)
  5. Rick and Tom podcast: Who will be the Bucs' QB on Sunday?

    Blogs

    Who the Bucs' quarterback will be Sunday against the Bills became clear as mud as Jameis Winston hasn't thrown all week but will take all the practice reps today.

    Will Ryan Fitzpatrick start for the Bucs Sunday in Buffalo?