LA Kings: Lightning expect teams to ask Mikhail Sergachev about increased role

Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

Now Stanley Cup Champions, the Lightning will have to address their salary cap issues. Could the LA Kings give Mikhail Sergachev an increased role next year?

We’ve discussed the notion of the LA Kings potentially signing Mikhail Sergachev to an offer sheet this offseason. The 22-year-old had an outstanding regular season and an even better performance on the biggest stage. It looked like his power play goal from the blue line in Game 5 was going to be the deciding factor in the Stanley Cup before Dallas ultimately forced a Game 6.

The Lightning eventually hoisted the Cup, but now they will shift their attention to the offseason, of which they are extremely limited in what they can do financially. According to CapFriendly, Tampa Bay has just $5.3M in cap space with several notable unrestricted and restricted free agents to consider re-signing.

Of those lies Sergachev, who is projected to receive a contract at a $6.5M AAV. Right now, the Lightning would have to move someone off the roster to make that happen, which is why it makes sense for the LA Kings to sign him to an offer sheet for that amount. Per the offer sheet compensation, the Kings would have to give up their first and third-round picks in the 2021 NHL Draft.

And according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet Canada, the Lightning are aware that teams will be in on their young blueliner.

“The Lightning are not satisfied with one win,” Friedman wrote. “They want to maintain themselves for a shot at more. Expect Brisebois to think unconventionally. I think teams will ask if Sergachev wants a bigger role. He’s on the left side with Hedman and McDonagh.”

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The Kings can offer first pairing playing time with Drew Doughty to Sergachev and a handsome new contract at an excellent AAV for the 22-year-old.

LA has done well stockpiling their draft capital with the recent trades of veteran players from their Stanley Cup runs over the last couple of seasons. And this is exactly where those picks come in handy. As we noted, if the Lighting fail to match LA’s offer, they’ll get first and third-round picks next year. But that will still leave the Kings with two second-round picks and a third-round pick to work with.

This move would not gut the draft capital. It’s a perfect move for the organization to take another step in the right direction. We’ll see how desperate Tampa gets to keep Sergachev. If they trade away someone like an Alex Killorn or ask Tyler Johnson to open up his no-movement clause to free up some salary cap, we’ll know they are serious about keeping Sergachev.

NHL’s free agency period will officially open Friday, October 9 at 12 PM ET.