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Ondrej Palat Signs Five-Year Contract with Lightning

Ondrej Palat Signs Five-Year Contract with Lightning Lisa Gansky/via Flickr

Signing continues busy summer for Tampa Bay


The Tampa Bay Lightning have been one of the busiest teams this summer. In free agent signings alone, the Lightning have signed 10 players. Four of them have been their own restricted free agents. You can add forward Ondrej Palat to that list.

Tampa Bay has signed Palat to a five-year contract with an annual average value of $5.3 million, the team announced today.

The 26-year-old Czech native had another solid season for the Bolts in 2016-17. Palat tallied 17 goals and 52 points in 75 games. Since making his NHL debut during the 2012-13 season, Palat has notched 74 goals and 218 points in 307 games. He’s added 14 goals and 29 points in 46 career playoff games.

While Tampa Bay missed the playoffs, Palat showed he is a key piece for this team going forward. He averaged 19:07 of ice time, second among Lightning forwards. He also finished third on the team with 35 assists and sixth on the team in goals.


The signing lets Tampa general manager Steve Yzerman take a big sigh of relief.

Heading into this summer, the Lightning risked losing Palat and center Tyler Johnson, both key pieces of the team’s core. Both players were restricted free agents.

Johnson was signed earlier this week to a seven-year, $35 million deal. Tampa was also able to re-sign young defenseman Jake Dotchin this summer.

Those signings have helped Tampa Bay keep the key pieces of the team’s core together, all the while adding some pieces to try and help them. The Lightning signed free agents Chris Kunitz and Dan Girardi when free agency started on July 1.

And Yzerman did all this while still keeping the team underneath the salary cap. Tampa Bay still has just over $3 million in cap space available.

With captain Steven Stamkos expected back healthy in 2017-18, don’t be surprised if the Bolts contend for top spot in the Atlantic Division again.