Tampa Bay Lightning defensemen Victor Hedman and Erik Cernak
Photo credit: Last Word On Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning scratch key player after missing team meeting

Published March 30, 2024 at 8:01 PM

After a missing a team meeting, the Tampa Bay Lightning announced that they will be scratching key defenseman Erik Cernak.

As per a report by Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, the Tampa Bay Lightning sidelined defenseman Erik Cernak for tonight's game against the New York Islanders due to his absence from a team meeting,violating the team's code of conduct.

TB announced that Erik Cernak will not play vs NYI after missing a team meeting

The 26-year-old has accumulated one goal and 10 assists, totaling 11 points in 61 games this season. Cernak leads all Lightning defensemen in hits with 151 and ranks second in blocked shots with 94. He previously missed several games earlier this season due to an upper-body injury.

Cernak played a crucial role in the Lightning's consecutive Stanley Cup victories in 2020 and 2021. Signed to an eight-year, $41.6 million contract with an average annual value (AAV) of $5.2 million, his contract extends through 2030-31, featuring a no-trade clause from 2024-25 to 2026-27, and then a modified no-trade clause.

The two-time Stanley Cup champion and 2021 Slovakian Player of the Year has participated in 356 games with the Lightning, amassing 19 goals and 67 assists for 86 points. Cernak recently surpassed the 1000-hit mark and has recorded 489 blocked shots.

Currently, Tampa Bay occupies the first Eastern Conference Wild Card spot with a record of 40-25-7, totaling 87 points across 72 games. Following tonight's game against the Islanders, they have only nine games left in the 2023-24 regular season. The Lightning maintain a comfortable six-point lead over the Washington Capitals. Their upcoming matches include facing the Detroit Red Wings on April 1 and the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 3.

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Lightning scratch Erik Cernak for missing team meeting
March 30   |   40 answers
Tampa Bay Lightning scratch key player after missing team meeting

Do you think this is the right move by the Tampa Bay Lightning in scratching Erik Cernak for missing a team meeting?

Yes3997.5 %
No12.5 %
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