After signing Steven Stamkos and pissing off everyone with visions of offer sheets dancing in their heads, Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman turned to another restricted free agent: Winger Teddy Purcell, whose arbitration hearing was scheduled for Wednesday at 9 a.m.
It was a hearing successfully avoided by the player and his team, as Purcell agreed to a 2-year, $4.725 million deal (via Nick Kypreos) — a hefty raise from the $750,000 he made last season.
Not that he didn’t deserve a raise, with career highs of 17 goals, 34 assists and 51 points in 81 games last season for the Lightning. But his real value was in the postseason: For all the chatter about Sean Bergenheim being a playoff revelation, Purcell had 17 points in 18 games during the Bolts’ run to the conference finals.
Purcell was a player Yzerman mentioned as being vital to the Bolts next season; at 25, he’s the type of familiar young player the GM expects to step up and play a more significant offensive role in lieu of the Lightning not spending dollars on riskier free agent options this summer.
The $2.36 million cap hit makes Purcell the team’s fifth-highest paid forward next season.
Kypreos also reported that Laurie Korpikoski had an “arbitration settlement” of 2 years at $3.6 million total with the Phoenix Coyotes. GM Don Maloney said on Tuesday that he expected to go to arbitration with Korpikoski; we’re unsure if this was a settlement before that hearing or the arbitrator’s ruling. (Waiting on clarification.)
Teddy Purcell, Yzerman avoid arbitration with 2-year deal