Lightning terminate Dotchin's contract for 'material breach'

Lightning defenceman Jake Dotchin’s conditioning level wasn’t acceptable when he arrived at camp, according to reports. (Associated Press)

The Tampa Bay Lightning have placed Jake Dotchin on unconditional waivers with the intention of terminating his contract, according to multiple reports.

And it appears that, maybe, too many cheeseburgers and Natty Ice’s over the summer months are to blame.

Joe Smith of The Athletic reports that the team is terminating the contract on grounds of a ‘material breach’ on the part of Dotchin. Smith, along with Elliotte Friedman and others, say that the Lightning were not at all happy with the 24-year-old blue-liner’s conditioning level when he arrived to camp this week, prompting the move.

There’s very likely a lot more to this story, and it’s hard to believe that being a little out of shape would cause the team to terminate his contract entirely, but as of now it’s a whole bunch of speculation and few concrete details.

Dotchin, who was supposed to be entering the final season of a two-year, $1.625 million deal, had some internal issues during the 2017-18 preseason, too, when he sat out multiple exhibition games for “violating an unspecified team rule.” 

Sam Perreault, Dotchin’s agent, told The Athletic they “respectfully disagree” with the decision and are considering “all options” in filing an appeal.

The Cambridge, Ontario product has put up 22 points while averaging 17:18 TOI in 83 career NHL contests.