Former Rangers winger Tyler Motte signs with Lightning
Tyler Motte has once again moved on from the New York Rangers after misreading the flat-cap market for free agents.
Per Larry Brooks of the NY Post, the fourth-line winger was seeking a new deal for $2 million per season. That price was more than the cap-strapped Rangers could afford, so they went out and signed veterans like Blake Wheeler ($800K), Nick Bonino ($800K), and Tyler Pitlick ($787.5K) for far less on July 1.
On Saturday, Motte drastically lowered his demands and inked a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning for just $800,000.
Tyler Motte reunion unlikely this season
Motte, 28, was first acquired at the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline from the Vancouver Canucks and unfortunately suffered a serious shoulder injury after just 9 games. He did return for the Rangers magical run to the Eastern Conference Final, but left via free agency to the Ottawa Senators (1x$1.35M) after wanting more than GM Chris Drury expected to spend.
As the Senators fell out of the playoff picture last season, Motte rejoined the Rangers at the deadline for second tour. This time around, he remained healthy posting 5 goals and 5 assists in 24 regular season games.
Despite a first-round exit to the New Jersey Devils, there was a lot of optimism that Motte would re-sign. Multiple reports surfaced that both sides seemed very amicable in working out a new contract to stay on Broadway.
“I love this city and I love this group,” Motte said. “You never know who’s going to be back in the locker room at the beginning of each year. But this is one I’d love to be a part of.”
Obviously, what may have been two very interested parties in May turned out much differently when the free agency bell rang in July.
Looking ahead, it’s unlikely we will see another reunion with Motte as Tampa is considered a playoff team. With training camps about to open and players inking PTO’s (professional tryout), Motte opted to sign with a contender for $50,000 above league minimum to ensure himself a roster spot.