On Wednesday, Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Julian Brisebois noted that “unless something falls into [the Lightning’s] lap, we’re done.” Alas, something major has fallen into the Lightning’s lap as they look to rebuild what was once a stellar third line that has since seen Yanni Gourde taken in the Seattle expansion, Barclay Goodrow traded and Blake Coleman exit in free agency. The move? Corey Perry.
Perry, who has been to back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Dallas Stars and Montreal Canadiens, lost to Tampa Bay in both Stanley Cups. Perry will head to title town for his age-36 and age-37 seasons. Perry will add yet another Hart Trophy MVP recipient to an already loaded roster, having won the award as a member of the Anaheim Ducks in 2011. Perry won a Cup with the Ducks in 2007, was once a perennial All-Star and former Olympic Gold medalist.
Perry scored 21 points in 49 games with Montreal and his 60.7 oZS% was higher than his 52.5 career mark. While Perry isn’t the MVP candidate he once was, the Lightning have a top line of former league MVP Nikita Kucherov, who’s still arguably the top player in the sport, Brayden Point who has the potential to win one in any given year and Ondrej Palat. Steven Stamkos, one of the best players of this generation, is on a very solid second line. Perry even at his age is a more than serviceable two-way forward in the bottom six. The deal, per Frank Seravalli, is worth $1M per year. A very cap friendly deal for an experienced veteran for a team that needs to be more mindful of the cap than most.
The Lightning, who have lost David Savard, Barclay Goodrow, Yanni Gourde, Tyler Johnson and Blake Coleman this offseason, are trying to rebuild the depth that won back-to-back Stanley Cup. The team recently brought back Zach Begosian, who won with the Lightning in 2020, and extended Brayden Point to an eight-year, $76M contract. The deal is tied for largest contract in Lightning history, alongside line mate Nikita Kucherov. Ross Colton, Cal Foote and others still require new contracts.
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