While the Lightning accomplished its main offseason goal — agreeing to terms with star center Steven Stamkos on a five-year, $37.5 million deal Tuesday — general manager Steve Yzerman still has work to do with wing Teddy Purcell.
Yzerman said last week that he didn't think it was "out of the question" the team could reach a deal with Purcell before today's arbitration hearing, set for 9 a.m. in Toronto.
The sides had yet to come to an agreement by Tuesday evening, and though Yzerman had planned to speak with agent Kent Hughes, it looks as if they will see how it goes today.
Purcell, 25, who made $750,000 last year, had a breakout season with career highs of 17 goals, 34 assists and 51 points in 81 games. He also had a good postseason, with 17 points in 18 games, and is expected to have a top-six role among forwards next year.
Yzerman reiterated Tuesday that he's optimistic Purcell will be in the lineup.
Yzerman has not said with 100 percent certainty that the team will live with whatever the arbitrator rules, but he seemed positive with how it's going.
Hughes wasn't reached for comment.
"The uncertainty of the arbitration process, we all prepare for it, and you'd like to think we have a general range of the outcome, the settlement or award by the arbitrator," Yzerman said. "You don't know that for certain. Our hope is that whether it is (Tuesday) or through the arbitrator's ruling … one way or another, (we) will have an answer in the next couple days."
Off to Orlando: The Lightning said Tuesday that it will play a preseason game against the Blues at 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Amway Center in Orlando. Tickets will go on sale to the general public Saturday, starting at $10, with a pre-sale to selected buyers today.
The game was originally scheduled to be played at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg but was moved because of the franchise relocation of the Thrashers. It will be the fifth exhibition the Lightning has played in Orlando.