Lightning sign Matt Carle to a six-year, $33M contract

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have indeed “closed in” on defenseman Matt Carle. The Bolts signed him to a six-year deal, which Darren Dreger reports is worth $33 million. (Carle’s cap hit will be $5.5 million per year, then.)

Here’s what Carle had to say, via the Lightning.

“I’m excited to be back,” Carle said. “It was a hard decision. The organization is going in the right direction, and I’m happy to be a part of it.”

As mentioned in tonight’s earlier post, Carle represents the latest – and boldest – venture to improve Tampa Bay’s ability to improve its defense and goaltending. GM Steve Yzerman also added Sami Salo to their defensive corps and revamped the team’s goalie duo with unproven prospect Anders Lindback and experienced backup Mathieu Garon.

Perhaps Yzerman has a few more tricks up his sleeve, but this is the biggest addition that the Bolts have made in quite some time. (Maybe since the team hired him as a GM and Guy Boucher as a coach.)

For more on the implications of this move, check here. Also, if you’d like to get an earlier look at Carle’s value, read this post.