32 Teams In 32 Days: Tampa Bay Lightning
When the salary cap is just a suggestion....
In today’s 32 teams we look at the Tampa Bay Lightning and how they manage the salary cap.
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Over the past eight years no team in the NHL has been more successful than the Tampa Bay Lightning.
They are first in regular season wins.
They are first in postseason wins.
They have been in six Eastern Conference Finals.
They have been in four Stanley Cup Finals.
They have won two of them and been in three Stanley straight Finals over the past three years.
If they are not the best team of the salary cap era, they are no worse than second. Just a consistent powerhouse of a team that is always in contention for the Stanley Cup. And minus a handful of departing players here and there, they have managed to keep their entire core togther.
Nikita Kucherov. Steven Stamkos. Andrei Vasilevskiy. Victor Hedman. Brayden Point. Then this offseason they went all in with eight-year deals on the trio of Anthony Cirelli, Erik Cernak, and Mikhail Sergachev. That does not even include the re-signing of pending free agent Nick Paul.
Along with that, they are always in the market to add at the trade deadline to make another push for a championship.They made a priority of keeping their stars, even if it means trimming around the edges and replacing the secondary players.
When they do this there is always this feeling of, “how do they do this?”