July 23rd, 2024

Lightning lock down star defenceman Victor Hedman with 4-year, $32 million contract extension

By Fred Goodall, The Associated Press on July 2, 2024.

FILE - Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77) hits the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings Saturday, March 23, 2024, in Los Angeles. Two-time Stanley Cup champion defenseman Victor Hedman has signed a four-year, $32 million extension with the Tampa Bay Lightning, a deal that will keep him under contract with the team through the 2028-29 season. General manager Julien BriseBois announced the move Tuesday, July 2. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Two-time Stanley Cup champion defenceman Victor Hedman has signed a four-year, $32 million extension with the Tampa Bay Lightning, a deal that will keep him under contract with the team through the 2028-29 season.

General manager Julien BriseBois announced the move Tuesday, less than 24 hours after former team captain Steven Stamkos left the Lightning in free agency to sign a four-year contract for the same amount of money with the Nashville Predators.

Stamkos, 34, departed after BriseBois cleared enough room under the salary cap to keep the longtime face of the franchise but declined to increase the club’s previous offer to the club’s all-time leading scorer.

With Stamkos set to test free agency, the Lightning used a big chunk of the salary cap created by trading defenceman Mikhail Sergachez and forward Tanner Jeannot to sign free agent forward Jake Guentzel to a seven-year, $63 million contract on Monday.

Hedman had one season remaining on his contract, however BriseBois made it one of his top priorities to lock the four-time All-Star into a long-term deal this summer. The 33-year-old is coming off a season in which he ranked fourth among NHL defenceman in assists (63), fifth in points (76), sixth in power-play points (31) and eighth for average time on ice (24:48).

One of just 11 defencemen in league history to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs, Hedman has scored 156 goals and compiled 728 points over 1,052 career regular season games.

He helped Tampa Bay win consecutive Stanley Cup titles in 2020 and 2021 and has appeared in 165 playoff games overall, accumulating 165 points with 23 goals and 94 assists.

The native of Sweden entered the NHL with the Lightning as the second overall pick in the 2009 draft. He’s the only player in franchise history to win the Norris Memorial Trophy (2018) as the league’s best defenceman.

___

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

Share this story:

11
-10
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments