Insider: Lightning, Hedman Agree On Extension

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Victor Hedman agreed to a five year contract extension today, the team announced. According to a source familiar with the deal, the contract will pay Hedman twenty million dollars and includes a no trade clause in the final year of the deal.

According to the source, who was familiar with the negotiations, Hedman and the team had been talking back and forth about the extension for the past couple of weeks, with the deal being finalized today. Hedman’s agent, Peter Wallen was in town last week, and spoke exclusively with ESPNFlorida about Hedman and his contract situation.

“Its impossible to say,” Wallen said at the time, when asked if this negotiation would mirror the Stamkos situation from last summer. “Victor likes it here in Tampa. I am sure Steve [Yzerman] likes Victor as well. The situation here in Tampa, it’s been a big change, with ownership and GM. Last year was a big step up to the moon again. It’s hard not to like Tampa.”

This is a big move for the Lightning and Steve Yzerman, having both Stamkos and Hedman locked up for the foreseeable future. Here is the release from the team announcing the extension:

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed defenseman Victor Hedman to a five-year contract through the 2016-17 season, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

“We are extremely pleased to announce that we have agreed to a five-year contract with Victor,” Yzerman said.  “He has shown tremendous growth as a player in just more than two seasons in the NHL while also becoming a key member of our team.  We look forward to his continued development in a Lightning uniform.”

“I’d like to thank our owner, Mr. Vinik, and of course GM Steve Yzerman for helping me move forward in my career,” said Hedman. “I love it in Tampa Bay with the Lightning and I will do all I can to help this organization be successful on and off the ice.”

Hedman, 6-foot-6, 229 pounds, has played in 20 games with the Lightning this season, recording two goals. He ranks second on the Lightning in average ice time with 22:55 per game, just five seconds behind team-leader Eric Brewer (23:00), and is tied for second for blocked shots with 40.

The No. 2 overall pick of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Hedman, 20, has played in 173 career NHL games, all with the Lightning after coming to North America prior to the 2009-10 campaign.  Since that time no other Tampa Bay defenseman has played in more games and recorded more goals (9), assists (39) or points (48).   He has averaged more than 20 minutes of ice time per game in each of his three NHL seasons, ranking in the top three or higher on the Bolts in each.  Last year Hedman led all Lightning defensemen with 23 assists and was second among team defensemen with 26 points.  Hedman was also fourth on the team with a plus-3 rating.

A native of Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, Hedman played for MoDo Hockey of the Swedish Elite League before joining the Lightning.  In 2008-09 he was named the league’s Rookie of the Year at the age of 18 after making his debut during the 2007-08 season.  Hedman has represented his native Sweden in multiple international competitions, including winning the Bronze Medal at the 2010 IIHF World Championships as well as Silver Medals at both the 2009 and 2008 World Junior Championships.