The Fourth of July is usually a very busy day for most Americans. It turned out to be quite a busy day for the NHL as well as the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Earlier in the day the news came down that the Minnesota Wild had signed the biggest fish in the free agent pond in defenseman Ryan Suter and winger Zach Parise. Many players were awaiting signatures from the duo, including a defenseman the Lightning are quite familiar with in Matt Carle. So comfortable, in fact, they decided to put a six-year offer on the table for Carle.
It turns out a six-year contract worth a reported $33.5 million was enough for Carle to return to Tampa. That, along with many changes since he was dealt to Philadelphia four years ago.
“I’m excited to be back,” Carle said. “The organization is going in the right direction, and there have been a lot of changes, but they’re in a different place now and it all starts at the top.”
A new owner in Jeff Vinik, new general manager in Steve Yzerman and new coach in Guy Boucher have all gotten the attention of personnel league wide, and Carle was no exception. For his part, Carle impressed many with his play in Philadelphia. Steve Yzerman certainly took notice.
“We’re very pleased to announce Matt’s signing,” Yzerman said. “His ability to play in all situations will be a great addition to our defense.”