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Lightning expect to announce extension for D Hedman in coming days


The Tampa Bay Lightning and defenceman Victor Hedman are closing on a contract extension, general manager Julien BriseBois told reporters on Friday.

Hedman, 33, is entering the final season of his eight-year, $63 million deal with a cap hit of $7.875 million. While a deal isn't complete, BriseBois added that the Lightning's plan to be in a position to announce an extension in the coming days.

"We've had discussions with Victor's agent about an extension," BriseBois said. "In his case, we have more runway before we have to get a deal done. He still has one year left on his current agreement. That being said, the plan remains to be in a position to announce an agreement or a new contract with Victor in the coming days."

The 6-foot-7 left-shot defenceman recorded 13 goals and 76 points in 78 games last season. He added a goal and seven points in five playoff games before his team was eliminated by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Florida Panthers in the first round.

Drafted second overall in 2009, Hedman has played his entire 15-season career with the Lightning, recording 156 goals and 728 points in 1,052 career games

Hedman is a two-time Stanley Cup winner after helping Tampa Bay to back-to-back championships in 2020 and 2021 and won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2020, recording 10 goals and 22 points during the playoff run.

The Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, native won the Norris Trophy and was named a first-team all-star in 2018 and is also a five-time second-team all-star.

Hedman represented his country four times at the World Championship, taking home a gold medal in 2017 and two bronze medals in 2010 and 2024. He also represented Sweden at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, winning a bronze medal.


Stamkos inching closer to UFA

An extension for Hedman will put a dent in the long-term cap space for the Lightning, which may be affecting talks with captain Steven Stamkos.

BriseBois said Friday the team has been unable to reach a deal with pending unrestricted free agent Steven Stamkos, though both sides still have interest in finding common ground.

"As we stand here right now, we haven't been able to reach an agreement yet," BriseBois said of Stamkos on a Zoom call with reporters. "I don't know if we will be able to reach an agreement but we met with Steven's agent again yesterday and both sides are still interested in getting a deal done but we have not been able to agree to terms that are satisfactory for both sides.

"I think, at this time, it's probably best if I leave my comments to that for the time being."

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reported earlier this week that the Nashville Predators have "serious interest" in Stamkos, while TSN Hockey Insider Chris Johnston pointed to the Detroit Red Wings, who are flush with cap space, as a another potential landing spot. 

Stamkos has spent his entire 16-year career with the Lightning and expressed his disappointment with the lack of contract talks prior to the season. Playing out the last of an eight-year, $68 million deal signed in 2016, the 34-year-old forward posted 40 goals and 81 points in 79 games during the regular season. 

Stamkos took pitches from various teams before ultimately re-signing with the Lightning in 2016.