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Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman completed his offseason to-do list by signing "model player" Ondrej Palat to a $26.5 million, five-year deal.

The Lightning and Palat avoided arbitration and settled on the contract Friday. The Czech left winger will count $5.3 million against the salary cap through the 2021-22 season.

The 26-year-old Palat had 17 goals and 35 assists in 75 games last season. He has 74 goals and 144 assists in 307 NHL games and is considered one of the better defensive wingers in hockey.

" Yzerman said by phone. "He's really a complete player. He plays in all situations for us,[url=http://www.sharkshockeyshop.com/adidas-brent-burns-jersey]adidas Brent Burns jersey[/url], and he's very effective in all situations. Whether we're on the power play, we're up a goal,[url=http://www.bluesofficialhockey.com/adidas-vladimir-tarasenko-jersey]Authentic Vladimir Tarasenko jersey[/url], killing a penalty,[url=http://www.lightningofficialhockey.com/adidas-jonathan-drouin-jersey]adidas Jonathan Drouin jersey[/url], down a goal, late in the game, it's tied, 5-on-5,"His value is probably greater than if you just look at the goals and assists, he's going to be in in all those situations, and he plays really hard."

scoring eight goals and adding eight assists. He was a seventh-round pick, 208th overall,Palat played all 26 games of the Lightning's run to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, in 2011 and got a significant raise from his previous $3.3 million salary.

who got a $35 million,Yzerman said his two biggest offseason priorities were re-signing Palat and fellow restricted free-agent Tyler Johnson, seven-year deal before an arbitration hearing was necessary.

"Our plan was to get them signed," Yzerman said. "We were able to get that accomplished and we're pleased that we could sign them to long-term deals and know that we're going to have them for quite a while. ... They really represent what we want Lightning players to be."

Johnson, Nikita Kucherov, Palat and Alex Killorn -- are signed through at least the next two seasons. Despite missing the playoffs last year amid injuries to Stamkos and others,Five of Tampa Bay's top six forwards -- Steven Stamkos, the Lightning have no shortage of offensive talent, with Palat representing a mix of skill and responsible play.

" Yzerman said of Palat. "I think he's a guy that regardless of who he's playing with,[url=http://www.sharkshockeyshop.com/adidas-brent-burns-jersey]Authentic Brent Burns jersey[/url],[url=http://www.bluesofficialhockey.com/adidas-alex-pietrangelo-jersey]Authentic Alex Pietrangelo jersey[/url], everybody wants to play with him because he does all the little things really,[url=http://www.bluesofficialhockey.com/adidas-alex-pietrangelo-jersey]adidas Alex Pietrangelo jersey[/url],[url=http://www.lightningofficialhockey.com/adidas-jonathan-drouin-jersey]Authentic Jonathan Drouin jersey[/url],"I don't want to undersell his ability because he can make plays, really well."

The Lightning also cleared cap space and improved their blue line by trading forward Jonathan Drouin to Montreal for young defenseman Mikhail Sergachev,[url=http://www.lightningofficialhockey.com/adidas-victor-hedman-jersey]adidas Victor Hedman jersey[/url],[url=http://www.bluesofficialhockey.com/adidas-vladimir-tarasenko-jersey]adidas Vladimir Tarasenko jersey[/url], re-signed defenseman Andrej Sustr and forward Yanni Gourde and signed winger Chris Kunitz and defenseman Dan Girardi.

With Kucherov up for another contract in two years,[url=http://www.lightningofficialhockey.com/adidas-victor-hedman-jersey]Authentic Victor Hedman jersey[/url], Yzerman is always mindful of the cap and got all these moves done with some room to spare.

and the changes we made, it worked out that we're still under the cap,"The contracts came in how they did," he said.

Lightning agree to terms on $26.5M, five-year deal with forward Ondrej Palat

The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed left winger Ondrej Palat to a $26.5 million, five-year deal Friday.

Palat will count $5.3 million against the salary cap over the length of the contract, which was announced by general manager Steve Yzerman.

Palat was a restricted free agent who had filed for salary arbitration. The sides settled on this deal before a hearing was needed.

The 26-year-old had 17 goals and 35 assists for 52 points in 75 games last season. In 307 NHL games, the Czech native has 74 goals and 144 assists for 218 points and is considered one of the better defensive wingers in hockey.

Lightning sign Tyler Johnson to 7-year, $35-million deal

scoring eight goals and adding eight assists. He was a seventh-round pick, 208th overall,Palat played all 26 games of the Lightning's run to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, in the 2011 draft and got a significant raise from his previous $3.3 million salary.

signed winger Chris Kunitz and defenseman Andrej Sustr, Tampa Bay re-signed defenseman Andrej Sustr, and avoided arbitration with restricted free agent center Tyler Johnson,Signing Palat was the final item on Yzerman's offseason to-do list. After clearing cap space by trading forward Jonathan Drouin to Montreal for defenseman Mikhail Sergachev, re-signing him to a $35 million, seven-year deal.
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