Thursday, April 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning retains center Vladislav Namestnikov

The Lightning avoided an arbitration hearing with center Vladislav Namestnikov, agreeing Tuesday on a two-year deal with a $1.9375 million annual cap hit.

Namestnikov, 23, a restricted free agent, had a hearing scheduled Friday. The Russian made $874,000 last season and was one of the team's most improved players, racking up 14 goals and 21 assists (plus-17) while playing from the fourth line to the top line. The deal will be $1.9 million in the first year, $1.975 million the second, agent Pat Brisson said.

The Lightning has two restricted free agents, wing Nikita Kucherov and defenseman Nikita Nesterov. Tampa Bay has about $6 million in cap space left, so it likely will have to make a move to create room for both. Kucherov, coming off a 30-goal season, is due a hefty raise from the $700,000 he made last year, potentially in line with the six-year, $36 million deal the Predators gave Filip Forsberg. With depth at center, Tampa Bay could consider dealing veteran center Valtteri Filppula, who has a $5 million cap hit each of the next two seasons.

Around the league: The Red Wings signed defenseman Danny DeKeyser to a $30 million, six-year contract. … The Predators signed restricted free agent defenseman Petter Granberg for two years.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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