NHL Free Agency: Tampa Bay Lightning Sign Matt Carle to 6-Year Deal
The Tampa Bay Lightning are continuing to make improvements this offseason, and they have signed Matt Carle to a six-year deal worth $33.5 million over six seasons for an annual cap hit of around $5.5 million.
Lightning sign Matt Carle... told it's a done deal now.— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) July 5, 2012
"I'm excited to be back. It was a hard decision. The organization is going in the right direction, and I'm happy to be a part of it," Carle said via the Lightning's Twitter account.
A second-round pick of the San Jose Sharks in the 2003 NHL draft, Carle is in his second stint with the Tampa Bay Lightning, as he underwent a 12-game stint with the team during the 2008-09 season.
The former Philadelphia Flyers defenseman had a solid 2011-12 campaign and really put himself in position for a lucrative new contract. Carle scored four goals and assisted on 34 others for 38 points this past season while adding six points in 11 playoff games.
The Anchorage, Alaska, native is good for at least 35 to 40 points of offense and is solid in his own defensive zone. That should really help the Lightning offense on its blue line, as Carle can log the minutes. Carle averaged 23:01 of ice time throughout the season and is a defenseman who can play in all situations.
Now that Tampa Bay has signed Carle, it has addressed some of the questions marks associated with its defensive core and can continue to plug some holes before heading into the 2012-13 season.
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