As Suter & Parise go, so go the rest of the free agents. This is especially true for the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight as they have announced that they have signed defenseman Matt Carle to a six year contract. The deal is worth approximately $5.5 million per year.
You may remember Carle from a brief stint with the Bolts during the OK Hockey era. He was one of the returns on the trade that sent fan favorites Dan Boyle and Brad Lukowich to the San Jose Sharks. Carle played a whopping 12 games in a Lightning sweater before being sent to to the Philadelphia Flyers with a third round draft pick in exchange for Steve Eminger, Steve Downie, and a 2009 fourth round pick.
During the 2011-12 season he played in all 82 games for the Flyers, recording 4 goals and 34 assists. Carle is versatile in a number of different situations, which will be an asset coming into Coach Boucher’s unusual playing system.
Some fans still have some residual bitterness when it comes to the transaction that sent Danny Boyle out of town, but the bottom line is that the defensive squad improves with the addition of Carle. Last season’s d-men had a lot of problems preventing goals from being scored, the addition of Carle and netminder Anders Lindback should definitely improve that aspect of their game.
If Carle can play and contribute, some fans will just need to get over it.