The Tampa Bay Lightning have come to terms with center Brayden Point to to a three year contract worth $20 million. One could call the contract which was formed on Monday a bridge deal, as Point is expected to sign a longer contract worth even more money per season in the future.
Point’s contract signing ended a holdout that went into training camp. Players who are still looking for contracts are Matthew Tkachuk of Scottsdale, AZ (holding out with the Calgary Flames), Patrik Laine (holding out with the Winnipeg Jets), Mikko Rantanen (holding out with the Colorado Avalanche), and Kyle Connor of Clinton Township, MI (holding out with the Jets).
In 79 regular season games with the Lightning in 2018-19, Point, a native of Calgary, Alberta, scored 41 goals and 51 assists for 92 points. He was a +27 with 28 penalty minutes, 35 power play points, seven game winning goals, 191 shots on goal, 435 faceoff wins, 43 blocked shots, 31 hits, 35 takeaways and 25 giveaways.
Point set career highs in goals, assists, points, plus/minus and power play points in 2018-19. He was sixth in the NHL in goals, 12th in points, 10th in plus/minus and tied for sixth in the NHL in power play points.
In 2018-19, the Lightning were outstanding in the regular season and absolutely pitiful in the playoffs. At 128 points they easily won the Presidents’ Trophy, as they had 21 more points than their nearest competitor, the Boston Bruins. The Lightning’s 128 points was the fourth most by one team in NHL history. They only trailed the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens (132 points), the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings (131 points) and the 1977-78 Montreal Canadiens (129 points).
The Lightning’s 62 wins in 2018-19 also tied the Red Wings for most wins in a regular season in NHL history. However, when the playoffs rolled around, the Lightning completely got hammered by the Columbus Blue Jackets in a four game sweep. Columbus was completely not fazed by the fact that Tampa Bay was the best team in the 2018-19 National Hockey League regular season and outscored the Lightning 19-8 in 240 minutes of playoff action.