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HomeSportsTampa retained his partner Kucherov, but there's a problem. How not...

Tampa retained his partner Kucherov, but there’s a problem. How not to lose the club symbol now

Date: July 16, 2024 Time: 21:06:57

Almost simultaneously, the top two NHL draft picks from different years signed new contracts. Auston Matthews’ deal ($13.25 million) was a post-lockout league deal, while Alexis Lafrenière received the more modest rookie contract extension ($2.33 million). A couple of days ago another big contract was signed in the NHL, which, due to its salary cap ($6.5 million), was in the middle of the two most discussed: Tampa’s Brandon Hagel received more than four times as much his salary. Current salary.

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Chances are, two years ago you haven’t heard of Hagel. Buffalo, which drafted the forward in the sixth round, didn’t even begin to offer him a rookie contract, and Chicago signed the junior for free. During the covid period, the striker was loaned out to play in the second (!) Swiss league, but thanks to his energy and desire to plow, Hagel made it to Chicago for the shortened 2021 season. You got to know the striker better thanks to the World Cup 2021, where Brandon was part of the Canadian squad that took the sensational gold, though Hagel himself ran out of points.

A year later, the Canadian “electronics” got to the first link of the “hawks”, where even in the crisis season for the team he scored 20 goals. Some attributed this to the effect of playing with Patrick Kane, but Tampa’s coaches, who have great respect for workers, liked the forward. Neither Hagel nor his star partners wanted a trade, the rebuilding team needed those players. However, Chicago’s reinvigorated front office decided that two first-round picks for one player was too good an offer to turn down, and Brandon headed south.

In the first tiebreaker, it seemed that Tampa, rather, overpaid. If another hero of the 2021 World Cup in Canada, Nick Paul, immediately began to score important goals, then Hagel among the top 6 Lightning seemed like a foreign body. Perhaps it was a broken foot that the striker played with, but in the Stanley Cup – 2022 the entire team’s attack was concentrated on a single link.

Brandon Hagel

Photo: AP/TASS

However, everything changed last season. Link Hagel – Point – Kucherov – with a double margin is the most used combination of the regular season in the “lightning”. The Canadian winger took the place of Ondrej Palat, who went to New Jersey, assuming the role of the Czech. In a way, Hagel’s role was reminiscent of players called 3 & D (three-pointers and defense) in the NBA: thanks to excellent shooting, Brandon scored 30 goals in a season for the first time in his career.

His playing style was briefly described from his time in Chicago: “He works hard on the ice. No matter what teammates he plays with, even with Kane, his style of play does not change, he is ready to crush all opponents, “said Derek King, then the club’s coach. Hagel’s career shooting percentage is over 16% , more than that of many established NHL sharpshooters.Significantly, last season Brandon broke the club record for steals in a single season.

The striker himself, of course, is very happy. “I’m just grateful to be able to play for the next eight years…probably nine years with these guys. Look what Stamkos is doing so far, it’s amazing. Every year you see how the boys improve. Pointer scored 50 goals last year, Cooch, Vasya, Sergi… keep playing, these guys are only getting better. I’m looking forward to the future.” Hagel’s enthusiasm is understandable, but there is a small problem: the size of the striker’s contract makes it less likely that he will play with all the mentioned players two years from now.

Next season, the salary cap will increase substantially for the first time in a while, and is expected to be $87.5 million. Teams will have roster flexibility for the first time in a while, while Tampa has signed most of its backbone long-term. contracts. But a very important hockey player has a contract that expires next summer and his name is Steven Stamkos.

Stephen Stamkos

Photo: AP/TASS

In the summer of 2016, the NHL experienced a failed soap opera: the Tampa captain’s contract was expiring, and team representatives were already circling him. Toronto fans, fresh out of perestroika, were especially looking forward to a transition; However, his hopes and the expectations of many other fans were severely violated by Stamkos’s decision to accept an $8.5 million contract, which even in 2016 seemed like a major concession to the team’s budget.

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Now this history can repeat itself. If the cap increases to $87.5 million, then the Lightning will have $11.5 million to spend on six players. Analysts from the AFP agency believe that the Rayo captain will sign a contract for 7.84 million dollars a year; in this case, all other places in the roster will have to be filled by players with minimum contracts. Practice shows that the club usually has no problem inviting these types of players (everyone wants to go to a warm tax haven with hockey superstars), but will the expansion of Stamkos make this Tampa roster too old? The Lightning’s average age is already 28, which is solid for the modern league, and signing long-term contracts will only increase this figure.

Stamkos himself, however, isn’t going to get anywhere with words. When asked by reporters about his future after being cut from Toronto, the player briefly replied: “This is the only uniform I want to wear.” The hockey player expressed the hope that contract negotiations will begin as soon as possible and now the club and the captain will be able to agree on a new contract.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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