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Tampa Bay Lightning re-sign key players, add two in free agency

Lightning Rangers Hockey
Posted at 4:17 PM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-13 16:17:06-04

TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning announced several key moves Wednesday the team hopes will help keep them atop the Eastern Conference for years to come.

Tampa Bay, which lost in the final after winning the Cup back to back, signed defenseman Mikhail Sergachev for $68 million, center Anthony Cirelli for $50 million, and defenseman Erik Cernak for $41.6 million — all through 2031.

General manager Julien BriseBois said they were his priority when he traded veteran Ryan McDonagh to Nashville earlier this month.

The Eastern Conference champions also added defenseman Ian Cole and brought back winger Vladislav Namestnikov on one-year contracts. Cole signed for $3 million and Namestnikov $2.5 million.

Along with Philippe Myers, Cole should help fill the void left by the McDonagh trade and expected departure of Jan Rutta. The veteran left-shot defender won the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2016 and ’17 and played last year with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Namestnikov has bounced around the league with five different teams since his first stint with Tampa Bay. He was with the Lightning when they reached the Cup Final in 2015.