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 part of a record-setting season for USL attendance

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — Although Rowdies fans haven't had many recent opportunities to show out at Al Lang, the United Soccer League turnstiles keep turning at a record rate.

    A Rowdies fan waves flags ahead of the first half of the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and Orlando City B at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, March 25, 2017.
  2. 'Deadliest Catch' captain talks reality TV, Snoop Dogg and Tampa Bay

    Outdoors

    Keith Colburn is best known as captain of the Wizard on the Discovery Network series Deadliest Catch. Colburn and crew go to battle in the Bering Sea working one of the deadliest jobs in America. A seasoned veteran, Keith has filmed 11 seasons of the show and is still going strong with his relief captain …

    Captain Keith Colburn is seen in this undated photo courtesy of the Discovery Channel. Courtesy of the Discovery Channel
  3. HomeTeam 100: Players 51-60

    Footballpreps

    TAMPA - Wharton defensive back AJ Hampton will help lead the Wildcats into the 2017 season. Taken 7-6-17 by Scott Purks
  4. Rays series preview: Who are the Rangers?

    Blogs

    The road trip is done, but the Rays will still face a western team, as they tasks on the Rangers in a three-game series at Tropicana Field. Here's the information you need to know about Texas before the action kicks off.

    Record: 45-50, fourth in AL West

    Starter Tyson Ross, left, and catcher Jonathan Lucroy, right, have struggled immensely this season.
  5. Checklist to help Bucs swagger into the postseason

    Bucs

    To boost their playoff prospects, the Bucs need to beat Atlanta at least once, as they did last year. Twice would be even nicer. (Loren Elliott, Times)