The Tampa Bay Lightning have added plenty to their defense this offseason and now they’re adding to their depth as well.
The team announced they’ve signed former New Jersey Devils blue liner Matt Corrente to a one-year two-way contract. Corrente spent last season in the Carolina Hurricanes organization with the AHL Charlotte Checkers. In his NHL career, he’s played 34 games with the Devils during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons.
Corrente will likely join the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL and be on call to help out when injuries arise in Tampa Bay. After signing Anton Stralman and acquiring Jason Garrison from Vancouver, the Lightning’s top-six on defense is looking good as they’ll join Victor Hedman, Matt Carle, Eric Brewer, and Radko Gudas. Mark Barberio and Andrej Sustr will also compete for time.
The Lightning also announced they’ve re-signed forward Cody Kunyk to a one-year two-way deal. He was signed out of Alaska-Fairbanks in March and appeared in one game for the Lightning last season.
According to Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has made a qualifying offer to potential restricted free agent defenseman Mark Fayne. That means New Jersey wants to keep Fayne in the fold and after how he performed through the playoffs helping to shut down some of the East’s top scorers, he’s earned that much.
Gulitti also reports that Fayne may be one of the few potential Devils RFAs to receive qualifying offers. Lamoriello didn’t say whether forwards Vladimir Zharkov and Kory Nagy, defenseman Matt Corrente, and goalie Timo Pielmeier might receive the same treatment.
Fayne is the lone one of the bunch to spend all season in New Jersey helping balance out the blue line. Fayne finished the regular season with four goals and 13 assists and added another three assists in the postseason helping the Devils reach the Stanley Cup finals.
With Brian Rolston on LTIR for the next 4-6 weeks due to sports hernia surgery, the Devils have free reign to call up players from the AHL to help them ice a full roster of players and they did that today by calling three players up from Albany. Forwards Jacob Josefson and Tim Sestito and defenseman Matt Corrente get the call to help the Devils play a full roster for the first time since the second game of the year.
Corrente getting called up makes sense because he was one of the Devils last players cut in training camp and he might just get a chance to make his presence felt right away thanks to an unlucky injury elsewhere on the team. Defenseman Mark Fraser is out 4-6 weeks with a broken hand that he apparently suffered in a fight with Sabres forward Cody McCormick last night.
Corrente gets to fill the role of physical presence depth defenseman. He’ll drop the gloves from time to time similar to how Fraser does but the Devils are hoping his youthful upside can help out. As for Josefson, we mentioned him a little bit yesterday and thought that he might be a bit too green to get the NHL call but clearly his upside tickles the Devils fancy and he’ll get a shot to play now. Sestito can fill a physical presence that is missing with Pierre-Luc Letorneau-Leblond being back in Albany.