Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Bolts Re-Sign Budaj



It was announced to very little fan fare yesterday, maybe more so that there wasn't a roster freeze or an expansion draft going on, but the Tampa Bay Lightning let slip that they have re-signed goaltender Peter Budaj to a new 2-year contract extension on Monday afternoon.

It hasn't received the grand announcement just yet, but it looks like it will come after the expansion draft and the roster freeze, but something like this would suggest that the Lightning may already know who the Golden Knights are taking tomorrow and may also have solidified a deal to ensure that fate.  We'll see.

Back to Budaj though... the deal is a 2-year, $2.05 million deal, which isn't what you'd expect for the top UFA coming off the board, but there is a realization that he will be the back-up behind Andrei Vasilevskiy in Tampa Bay next season.

Budaj is coming off a massive season, thanks to the injury to Jonathan Quick in Los Angeles early last season, as the 34-year old Slovak appeared in 60 games between the Kings and Lightning, winning 30 games and posting 75 points in the hockey pool.  He was 19th overall in scoring, 9th among goalies, but barring a repeat injury performance, these numbers are expected to drop significantly.

This isn't to say that he won't be a worthy goalie in the 2018 season though.  Vasilevskiy is still fairly young, 22 years old, and may not be ready to handle the full work load in the coming season, so Budaj will likely get his share of appearances and thus, find some points behind a fairly potent offense.

Putting together a 23-man roster with who is signed today still offers the Lightning plenty of flexibility to improve over this off-season, as the roster below is only coming in at $63.25 million, as a preliminary number, which, in theory, would still leave them with $11.75 million against the new $75 million cap ceiling.  Again, still lots of tinkering to do.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
Steven Stamkos 8.500 Victor Hedman 7.875 Andrei Vasilevskiy 3.500
Ryan Callahan 5.800 Jason Garrison 4.600 Peter Budaj 1.025
Nikita Kucherov 4.767 Anton Stralman 4.500
Alex Killorn 4.450 Braydon Coburn 3.700
Vladislav Namestnikov 1.938 Mikhail Sergachev 0.894
J.T. Brown 1.250 Libor Hajek 0.864
Erik Condra 1.250 Mathieu Joseph 0.743
Brett Howden 0.925 Erik Cernak 0.702
Anthony Cirelli 0.925
Adam Erne 0.874
Taylor Raddysh 0.864
Cedric Paquette 0.813
Brayden Point 0.662
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