Photo credit:CHARLES KRUPA
NHL Notebook: Tampa Bay Lightning ink Brandon Hagel to eight-year contract extension and Winnipeg Jets leaders have ‘more motivation’ to succeed this season
6 months ago
The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed forward Brandon Hagel to an eight-year contract extension, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBrois announced on Tuesday.
The new deal, which kicks in for the 2024-25 season, carries a $6.5-million AAV making the 24-year-old the third-highest AAV of any Bolts forward, sitting behind teammates Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point, who both carry a $9.5-million AAV.
The six-foot-two forward broke out with the Lightning during the 2022-23 campaign scoring 30 goals and 64 points while totalling almost 19 minutes of ice time a night. He thrived in Tampa’s top six playing alongside Kucherov and Point where he continued to shine off the rush and on the forecheck.
Drafted by the Buffalo Sabres 159th overall in 2016, Hagel never played for them instead signing in Chicago as a free agent in 2018. He broke into the league on a full-time basis in 2020-21 scoring nine goals and 24 points in 52 games. Tampa acquired him in a March 2022 deal in a package that saw Chicago get back two first-round draft picks, and prospects Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh.
Here’s more on Hagel’s new contract from Daily Faceoff‘s Steven Ellis:
The Lightning were eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs after making the final three years in a row – winning twice. Hagel wasn’t part of either of the championships, but his acquisition gave the team some extra high-end scoring to keep them in a competitive window. With most of the core signed long-term, minus Steven Stamkos who becomes a UFA next summer, Tampa should remain in a competitive window for a few more years at least.
Winnipeg Jets Josh Morrissey and Adam Lowry have ‘more motivation’ to see the team succeed
After falling in five games to the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2023 playoffs, the new-look Winnipeg Jets are ready for a fresh start following an offseason of change.
Out is long-time Jet Blake Wheeler, whose final year of his contract was bought out allowing him to sign a new contract with the New York Rangers, and another player with a fresh postal code is Pierre-Luc Dubois. The latter of the two was sent to the LA Kings for a package deal that included forwards Gabriel Vilardi, Rasmus Kupari, Alex Iafallo and a draft pick.
Now, key returning players Josh Morrissey and Adam Lowry are ready to make some noise.
“When it was all said and done, it was disappointing,” Morrissey told Aaron Vickers of NHL.com.
“I think everyone knew there were probably some changes on the horizon. There always is in the NHL. We knew there would probably be some big moves. Disappointing that we couldn’t do more with the group we had because we felt we probably could have. Just more motivation for the future.”
Although the changes didn’t come unexpectedly, Winnipeg’s expectations for their upcoming season and the clubs future continue to be consistent.
“We’re looking forward to trying to replicate the success we had in the first half of the season,” Lowry said to Vickers.
“And now put it through a full 82 games where we don’t have that lull where you struggle for 25 or 30 games. I think we have a lot of good pieces. There are some things, some uncertainty … but as players, we’re a tight-knit group, and we have a lot of fun.
The Jets began last season with a 31-16-1 record and were first in the Western Conference by January 22nd, but fell apart down the stretch finishing the final 32 games with a record of 15-17-2. It landed them the second wild card spot in the west before falling short to the Golden Knight in five games.
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