Chris O'Meara/Associated Press
Notable signings: Anton Stralman, Brian Boyle, Evgeni Nabokov, Brenden Morrow
Why they were signed: Stralman replaces the departed Sami Salo. Boyle brings size and physicality to the third line. Nabokov will back up starting goalie Ben Bishop. Morrow will bolster the checking lines.
These signings bring a good mixture of skill, size and experience to a team on the rise. Having already acquired Jason Garrison via trade with Vancouver, the Lightning further bolstered their blue-line depth with Stralman, who played well for the New York Rangers last season.
Boyle, another former Ranger, had a solid playoff performance. His size (6'7”, 244 lbs) and physical play make him a welcome addition to Tampa Bay's checking lines. Nabokov's experience should make him a good mentor for Bishop. Morrow was a former captain of the Dallas Stars. His leadership and experience should prove beneficial for this young team.
Stralman's contract (five years, $4.5 million annually) ensures the 28-year-old's playing prime will be spent in Tampa Bay. Boyle (three years, $6 million), Nabokov and Morrow (both at one year, $1.55 million) are on affordable, short-term deals.