Brayden Point is already building on last year’s 66-point effort, and the youngster will be due a noticeable raise on his contract.
Point, who was a third-round pick in 2014, is in the final season of his entry-level contract.
Bob McKenzie had a Monday morning radio hit on Montreal’s TSN 690, and was asked if he had “any idea how much that guy’s going to get.”
“Nah, he’s going to get lots, but they’re not going to talk about it until the end of the season,” indicated McKenzie. “My colleague, Pierre LeBrun, on Insider Trading last week mentioned that Point’s agent, Gerry Johansson, had been in Tampa on a little bit of a drop-in with general manager Julien BriseBois of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and what they basically agreed to do was just shelve the talks on a new contract for Brayden Point.
“But this is what happens when you draft well. There’s Brayden Point, (a third-round pick), and yet he plays like a top-two line center in the National Hockey League. He’s a prolific guy and he’s putting up points, and he’s so important to what the Lightning have going there.
“Again, it comes back to what we’ve been talking a lot about in Toronto about players having to sacrifice a little somethin’ somethin’ at contract time to make it all work. And within reason, that’s happened with Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson and Victor Hedman, and the list goes on and on.
“When you’ve already established that culture with your hockey team where you’ve got tangible evidence - and again, it’s not like Kucherov is getting nickels and dimes on the dollar, he’s not. Starting next season he’s making $9.5 million. But I suppose one could argue that Kucherov easily could have been a $10 million or $11 million player given the productivity that he’s had.
“So when you get established guys on the team like Stamkos and Kucherov and Hedman taking a little bit less than what they could get if they were in free agency or so-called market value, then that’s sort of an example for Point to perhaps follow.
“And it allows a team like the Lightning to keep the group together and try to contend and try to win a Cup there.”
The Lightning has put together a 5-1-1 mark thus far.
Contract-related info via CapFriendly