After waiting almost a full year to get Stamkos under contract, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman wasted little time with this Hedman deal. The towering defender was eligible to sign a deal today, and he signed a deal today. Like with the Stamkos deal, this contract is incredibly cap friendly for the team considering what they're getting out of it. Hedman is, without a doubt, one of the league's premier rearguards:
The Bolts will derive tremendous value from Hedman over the term of this contract, and the player will likely be happy with both the financial and personal stability attached to it. This is a deal that everyone wanted to get done:Hedman is an undisputed number-one defenseman: pic.twitter.com/RR3KgJutga— Michael Stuart (@MikeStuartTLL) July 1, 2016
When you look at the kind of deals that have been thrown around in free agency this year, specifically Keith Yandle's with the Panthers, it's hard to describe this contract as anything but a win for Tampa Bay. That, friends, is the bottom line.Hedman's agent Peter Wallen said deal with #tblightning came together "super, super fast." "Both sides wanted it real bad."— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) July 1, 2016
With this one checked off, the obvious next item on Steve Yzerman's to-do list is Nikita Kucherov's contract. The restricted free agent needs a new deal in advance of this coming season, and figures to get a hefty pay raise. We'll see if that one gets done as quickly as this Hedman deal. Here's hoping.
As always, thanks for reading.