The Tampa Bay Lightning had two of the three Calder finalists on their roster this season and now both Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat are signed up for the next three seasons with identical contracts. With Johnson already signed, Palat inked his three-year deal Monday, worth a yearly cap hit of $3.3 million. The Czech scored 23 goals and 59 points in 81 games for the Lightning this season, good for second in team scoring. Most of Palat's offence came near the end of the season, scoring 24 points in the last 22 games of Tampa Bay's season. At $3.3 million, Palat is tied with Johnson as the fifth-highest paid forward on Tampa Bay. And at the end of this deal, he'll still be an RFA with Johnson.
Palat hit these offensive totals despite not being a major player on Tampa Bay's power play. He was, however, a mainstay on the Lightning's penalty kill, so he brings value to the defensive side of the puck as well. Good thing, since his advanced stats suggest
some kind of an offensive regression is in his future. But Palat will continue to be a strong, young piece of a quietly good - and growing - Lightning unit. Whether or not you actually believe Palat will find it hard to match his rookie totals in Year 2, a $3.3 million cap hit is entirely manageable for a team with
six more RFAs to re-sign, while also having to come to a decision on whether or not to pay $6-7 million to Ryan Callahan. What do you think? Is this a good contract for Palat?
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