"You want to win for this community." Lightning still a lurking force in the East

TAMPA, Florida – Nick Paul has arguably the most unique contract in the NHL. 

He’s a third-line center center making $3.15 million against the cap and he’s on the books for the next seven seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

Players of his ilk don’t get, nor typically want, seven-year deals. There isn’t much opportunity to earn more, especially in a world where, in theory, the cap is eventually going to rise. 

Of the 31 NHL players currently on a deal that goes through at least the 2028-29 season, only six have a cap less than $6 million per season. Jesperi Kotkaniemi ($4.8 million per season) is the only other player making less than $5 million against the cap. 

So it was surprising that the deal came to be, even by Paul’s own admission, but it’s not surprising that he would want to commit

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NHL Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Victor Hedman Nick Paul
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