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. Rowdies settle for draw at home

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  2. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  3. Rays journal: Cesar Puello, who has one major-league game, claimed off waivers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Looking to add punch to their right-handed lineup, the Rays claimed OF Cesar Puello off waivers Saturday from the Angels.

  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.

  5. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends

    Bucs

    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Simeon Rice works with defensive end Noah Spence (57) after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.