The Tampa Bay Lightning held the final media availability of the season as General Manager Julien BriseBois discussed the pending free agents this season.

BriseBois discussed the Steven Stamkos situation in length. He is hopeful that he can get Stamkos re-signed. However, Stamkos is not the only priority for the Lightning this offseason.

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In addition to Stamkos, the Lightning must decide whether to bring back Anthony Duclair and Matt Dumba. They can also extend their number one elite defenseman, Victor Hedman.

Each year since they won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2020 and 2021, the Tampa Bay Lightning have looked different. Julien BriseBois has made tough decisions moving on from Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Corey Perry, Pat Maroon, Yanni Gourde, Blake Coleman, Barclay Goodrow, and Ryan McDonagh.

A big reason why the Lightning had to dismantle was the flat salary cap. The cap is rising, but the Lightning already have $62.82 million tied up in eight players next season. That does not include Nick Paul, who is making $3.150 million. So that is around $65 million tied up in nine players.

It is going to be an exciting offseason with the Lightning.

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BriseBois on Victor Hedman:

Chris Krenn of Tampa Bay Lightning: “I talked to his agent yesterday, just very preliminary. We’re going to circle back once we have time to debrief here. But, obviously, we’d love to keep Victor going forward. He’s an elite defenseman. He’s one of those special, all-time players and all-time great Tampa Bay Lightning and Bolt. He’s still super productive and I have no reason to believe that’s not going to be the case going forward. We have a better understanding of where the cap is, at least now and next year. There is a new CBA that’s going to come in at some point. There are rumors of expansion drafts. We’re trying to factor all that in, but the plan would be to keep Victor going forward, obviously.”

BriseBois on Matt Dumba and Anthony Duclair:

Chris Krenn: “We’re going to debrief. I would say first, they both made us better when they came in and they were not unfamiliar to our success from that point on. They brought different things to our group and found a way to contribute in different ways. We’re going to debrief here. The season ended. We flew back. Everything’s happening fast. Medicals today. A number of player meetings in the coming days. Talks with agents. Debrief with the coaches and scouts. Then we’re going to see how we can fit all those pieces together and what the plan is at that point. I don’t have a definite plan today. It’s too early. I need time.”

Both Duclair and Dumba were NHL Trade Deadline Playoff Impact Players highlighted before the playoffs. They both delivered and were solid acquisitions.

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On Head Coach Jon Cooper:

Eduardo A. Encina of TB Times: I asked Julien BriseBois about whether team would pursue extension this summer with HC Jon Cooper, who reportedly is signed through 2024-25. “No, he had term,” BriseBois said. Looks like Cooper is signed/or in agreement to be signed beyond next season.

Dave Pagnotta of the Fourth Period: I’m told #GoBolts HC Jon Cooper had signed an extension and is under contract through the 2025-26 season.

From the sounds of it, head coach Jon Cooper is remaining with the Lightning, putting to bed the speculation the Lightning were looking to make a coaching change.




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