Joined: Dec 2017
Here's another team w/ major cap issues on the horizon. Gourde should be an excellent value at just over $5M AAV, but they also have Kucherov's mega deal about to kick in next season which carries a raise of about $5M AAV. And, they still need to lock up pending RFA Braden Point, who should require at least $7M+ AAV on an 8 year deal. They're gonna have to make some major changes involving the overpaid veterans such as Callahan, Killorn, Johnson, and Palat. That's where the they need to trim the fat. Probably 3 out of 4 of the aforementioned Forwards will be playing elsewhere next season. Plus, star net minder Andre Vasilevsiy has only one more season remains on his current deal ($3.5M AAV), and he'll need a $5M raise as well. Maybe they can trade Johnson and co. for some draft picks/prospects in order to save money. They'll be very top heavy moving forward.
Just to clarify: I don't think Palat and Johnson are necessary overpaid, they just don't seem to fit in to the Lightning's long term plan w/ the current salary cap ceiling.