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Lightning Re-Sign RFA Center Anthony Cirelli to 3-Year Deal

The Tampa Bay Lighning have signed forward Anthony Cirelli to a new contract. The deal was made possible thanks to Nikita Kucherov news.

It was reported Wednesday afternoon by Elliotte Friedman: “Hearing TB closing in on an extension with Anthony Cirelli. Heavy lifting complete.” Part of the reason a Cirelli deal was possible is because it was also learned on Wednesday that Nikita Kucherov was out of the 2020-21 regular season, thanks to hip surgery.

Related: Nikita Kucherov Will Miss Entire 2020-21 NHL Regular Season

On Thursday, the signing was announced by the team as a three-year, $4.8M deal. Cirelli is an exceptional two-way player at even strength, he plays tough minutes and has elite defensive impact. The deal breaks down as follows:

  • Year 1, $2.4 M ($1.5 M sb plus $900k salary)
  • Year 2, $4.8 M ($1.5 M sb plus $3.3 M salary)
  • Year 3, $7.2 M

The deal is all salary and no signing bonuses and his AAV of $4.8 million is the exact same deal as Sergachev.

Before the signing was made official, reports were that GM Julien BriseBois had the framework for a deal with Cirelli in place. It was the news of Kucherov’s injury that opened the door to finalize things.

BriseBois said with Kucherov going on LTIR, and what they’ve signed everyone for, the Lightning were now in a position to be cap compliant by opening night. The Lightning might still make a couple of moves based on the Cirelli’s new deal, but if Kucherov doesn’t come back until the playoffs — which is still potentially possible — there’s no cap limit, so he can come back without any other moves to accommodate it. The Lightning would then have a stacked roster for the postseason.

Cirelli was a key piece for the Lightning. There was talk that he might be a target for an offer sheet but no NHL team ended up pulling the trigger and trying to scoop him up in such a manner.

Tampa Bay Lightning Anthony Cirelli OT goal
Tampa Bay Lightning Anthony Cirelli OT goal

Next: Expectations for Leafs Prospect Rodion Amirov at 2021 World Juniors

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