The Tampa Bay Lightning have bolstered their depth, signing veteran forward Corey Perry to a two-year contract. ESPN’s Kevin Weekes was the first to report the signing. Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reports the contract carries an average annual value of $1MM.
The old adage of “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” stands strong here. Perry joins the Lightning after losing to the team in two consecutive Stanley Cup Finals (with Dallas in 2020, Montreal in 2021). Now 36 years old, the former Rocket Richard winner and league MVP has seen somewhat of a career renaissance after a messy end to his time with the Anaheim Ducks. After being bought out at the end of the 2018-19 season due to a combination of injuries and declining play, Perry’s scored 14 goals and 42 points in 106 games over the past two seasons. He’s kept up that same rate of production in the playoffs – nine goals and 19 points in a whopping 49 playoff contests since leaving Anaheim.
Perry is still a reliable bottom-six talent, and he’ll add to what should be a rotating cast of bottom-six wingers for the Lightning. After losing their entire checking line of Blake Coleman, Yanni Gourde, and Barclay Goodrow due to salary cap restraints, the team’s bottom six will take on a fresh look next season. They’ve already added one veteran presence, signing Pierre-Edouard Bellemare yesterday. Bellemare and Perry will provide competition for a cast of young Tampa forwards that include Ross Colton, Alex Barre-Boulet, Mathieu Joseph, and Mitchell Stephens. When three-time Stanley Cup champion Pat Maroon is added to that list, it quickly becomes apparent that there’s no guarantee Perry plays every night for the Lightning. However, a healthy and well-rested Perry is still an important piece of a three-peat puzzle for Tampa, especially come playoff time.