NHL Rumors: Brayden Point, Ryan Callahan, and the Tampa Bay Salary Cap
The Tampa Bay Lightning need to lock up Brayden Point and need to add to their blue line.
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Optimism on the Brayden Point Front

Joe Smith of The Athletic:  Despite the slow pace of talks, optimism on the Brayden Point front is increasing. This is because the inevitable RFA waiting game is in full swing. Patience preached is the saying around many teams currently. Also, Point wants to stay with Tampa so there is little or no acrimony involved.

No one desires to set the market but someone will eventually. Point projects to make around $8 million AAV for a five years deal. On the other hand, an eight-year deal could be as much as $72-75 million for the center. Point scored 41 times in a career season last year.

With Florida’s income tax laws and salary slotting, Point expects to earn a bit less than Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos. The odd specter of offer sheets looms a little more but Point could just take a deal around $8 to $8.5 million AAV and be happy.

Point’s only question exists as such. Does he sign a bridge, five-year, or eight-year deal? The jury waits on this decision.

Ryan Callahan’s career-ending injury helps Tampa Bay a little

Joe Smith of The Athletic:  Unfortunately, what happened to Ryan Callahan snuffs out the rest of his hockey playing career. On the other hand, the injury forced retirement helps the salary cap situation somewhat.

The LTIR covers only what Tampa Bay is over the cap and not the overage. Tampa stays on the hook for that amount as that moves to the next season.

Julian Brisebois acknowledged reality.

“But the reason we have serious cap constraints is that we have a number of good players signed to contracts. We’re happy with those players and those contracts. I’d much rather have to deal with the challenge of not having a lot of cap space to go out on the free agent market than having to deal with the challenge of putting together a team that has all these players we have”.

Honestly, trimming as opposed to assembling is easier. Also, Anton Stralman and Dan Girardi both may leave as unrestricted free agents. Tampa Bay exploring free agency or trades is being considered but they have time.