Report: Lightning, Cirelli have had 'active' contract talks
The Tampa Bay Lightning appear to be addressing their biggest remaining offseason priority.
Cirelli has become one of the league's best young two-way centers. The 23-year-old helped Tampa Bay win the Stanley Cup last season, collecting 16 goals and 28 assists in 68 regular-season games before adding three markers and six helpers in 25 playoff contests.
He finished fourth in Selke Trophy voting in 2019-20.
The restricted free agent is the team's final unsigned player on its NHL roster. Tampa Bay is more than $6 million over the salary cap following the signings of forwards Mathieu Joseph and Alex Volkov on Wednesday, as well as those of defensemen Erik Cernak and Jan Rutta earlier this week.
Lightning superstar Nikita Kucherov is dealing with a hip issue, reports TSN's Darren Dreger. One way to clear cap space would be to place the winger on long-term injured reserve, though there's been no indication the ailment is that significant.
Last season was Cirelli's second full NHL campaign. Tampa Bay selected him 72nd overall in 2015.