Josh Archibald "Not Planning On Playing Hockey", Has Contract Terminated

The Tampa Bay Lightning have completed some business today, officially terminating the contract of a July free agent signing, as eight-veteran forward Josh Archibald cleared unconditional waivers. 

The Bolts just signed the rough-and-tumble winger on July 1st to an $800,000 contract for one year, but he won't be wearing a Lightning uniform after all. 

The decision seems to have been Archibald's, as he informed the team on Friday that he wouldn't be ready to report to training camp, for personal reasons. 

Tampa GM Julien BriseBois revealed the details:

I was informed by Josh’s agent, and by Josh himself in a subsequent conversation, that he was not planning on playing hockey for the time being and that he would not be reporting to training camp.

That, of course, left the Lightning no choice but to move in a different direction. After placing Archibald on waivers, they immediately signed another free agent in his place.  

Despite his limited offensive potential, Archibald can still make an impact in limited minutes on the ice when he's ready to play, as he showed with the Pittsburgh Penguins last season, delivering a career-high 195 hits in just 62 games. He also registered a plus-6 to go along with his 12 points. 

Archibald was a sixth-round pick by the Pens in the 2011 NHL Draft and played his first 14 games in the league with them, spread out over three years. He then played a few full seasons with the Arizona Coyotes and the Edmonton Oilers, before returning to the Steel City last year.   

Just a few weeks away from his 31st birthday, Archibald must now decide on his next steps. 

Photo: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports