Lightning sign Sergachev, Cirelli, Cernak to 8-year extensions

Posted: 15/07/2022 in NHL
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The Tampa Bay Lightning signed a trio of key pieces on Wednesday, announcing eight-year extensions for Mikhail SergachevAnthony Cirelli, and Erik Cernak.

Sergachev’s deal carries an $8.5-million cap hit, while Cirelli and Cernak will earn $6.25 million and $5.2 million per year, respectively, on their new pacts.

All three players have one year remaining on their current deals and received significant raises. Sergachev and Cirelli will both earn $4.8 million in 2022-23, while Cernak counts for $2.95 million next season.

When Sergachev’s new contract kicks in, he’ll usurp Victor Hedman ($7.875 million) as Tampa Bay’s highest-paid blue-liner. Sergachev, 24, has blossomed into a quality top-four defender since being acquired from the Montreal Canadiens prior to the 2017-18 campaign. He registered 38 points in 78 games this season while averaging a career-high 22:28 of ice time per game.

Cirelli is one of the league’s top defensive centers, finishing top-five in Selke Trophy voting twice in the past three years. The 24-year-old had 43 points in 76 games this season.

Cernak is known for his hard-nosed, defensive style. The Slovakia native notched 13 points this season but also had 165 hits and 73 blocks in 55 appearances.

Sergachev, Cirelli, and Cernak were each part of Tampa Bay’s three consecutive trips to the Stanley Cup Final from 2020-22.

In a smaller piece of business, the Lightning also signed forward Vladimir Namestnikov to a one-year deal when free agency opened Wednesday.

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