Lightning keeping D Sergachev for three more years

The defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning moved to keep one of the young cornerstones of their defensive corps Wednesday.

The Lightning announced they signed restricted free agent Mikhail Sergachev to a three-year contract with an average annual value of $4.8 million.

Sergachev, 22, just completed his entry-level contract. Last season he had a career-high 10 goals and 24 assists in 70 regular-season games before the NHL shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.

During the Lightning’s run to the Cup, Sergachev played in all 25 of Tampa Bay’s games and had 10 points (three goals, seven assists) and a plus-4 rating.

In three seasons with the Lightning since coming over in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens, Sergachev has played in 224 games and has accumulated 106 points (25 goals, 81 assists).

The Lightning are projected to be about $2 million above the NHL salary-cap ceiling with restricted free agent forward Anthony Cirelli and Erik Cernak still left to sign with more moves to make before the NHL resumes play for the 2020-21 season.