[Update: Lightning have made the signing of Alex Killorn official.]

LIGHTNING RE-SIGN FORWARD ALEX KILLORN TO SEVEN-YEAR CONTRACT

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward Alex Killorn to a seven-year contract worth an average of $4.45 million per season, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Killorn, 26, played in 81 games for the Lightning last season, collecting 14 goals and 40 points to go along with 44 penalty minutes. Killorn ranked tied for fourth for goals and points among Lightning skaters. Killorn also skated in 17 Stanley Cup Playoff games in 2016, where he recorded five goals and 13 points.  He ranked tied for third on the team for goals, was fifth for points and led all skaters with 42 penalty minutes. Killorn also ranked fourth on Tampa Bay for time on ice among forwards with 18:19 per contest.  He netted two goals in the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins and three in the opening round against the Detroit Red Wings.

The Halifax, Nova Scotia native has played in 272 career NHL games, all with the Lightning, amassing 53 goals and 138 points.  He also has a career plus-24 rating.  Killorn set career highs with 17 goals and 41 points in 2013-14. He made his NHL debut on February 10, 2013 against the New York Rangers, recording an assist in the game.  Killorn has played in 47 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, recording 15 goals and 33 points.  He ranked third on the Bolts for goals and points in helping Tampa Bay to the Stanley Cup Final during the 2015 playoffs.

Killorn was originally selected by the Lightning in the third round, 77th overall, at the 2007 NHL Draft.

~BE THE THUNDER~

While not official from the team yet, it’s being reported by multiple members of the media, both local and national, that restricted free agent Alex Killorn is re-signing with the Tampa Bay Lightning on a seven-year deal for $4.45 million per season.

For the past couple weeks, there’s been a lot of speculation about what kind of price tag Alex Killorn would come in at. I thought $4 million was the starting point and with looking at contracts of some players with similar production in the $4-$4.5 million range, I’m not at all surprised to see him get this salary. I am surprised though by the length of the deal.

The seven years on the deal is telling about how the organization and front office feels about Killorn and his future as a part of the core of the team. The past three seasons he has been right around 40 points with seasons of 41, 38, and 40 points. Overall he is a 0.51 PPG player in his NHL career, but in the playoffs has scored at a 0.70 PPG pace with 33 points in 47 games.

This deal heightens my suspicions that one of Vladislav Namestnikov or Tyler Johnson is going to be traded over the next year. This contract, and particularly with the length of the deal, is a signal that the team intends to protect Killorn when the expansion draft comes. Unless Valtteri Filppula is moved in some way, Namestnikov and Johnson would both be exposed in the expansion draft in my projected forwards list (Steven Stamkos, Ryan Callahan, Filppula, Drouin, Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat, Killorn)

Killorn will turn 33 during the last year of his contract. We’ll have to hope that as he crosses over the 30 year old mark that he continues his production in the second half of the contract. If he can continue right along that half point per game scoring pace through most of his contract, then this is a perfectly reasonable salary to pay him over that time.

With the Killorn deal done, one more piece is falling into place for the 2016-17 season. Kucherov, Namestnikov, and Nikita Nesterov still need contracts. And to get under the cap, a move is going to have to come from somewhere to make room. That may mean Namestnikov is traded now instead of at the deadline or after the playoffs. That may mean Filppula is traded now to keep Namestnikov on a more long term contract.

When we get official word from the team, we’ll update this post.

 

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