In the early afternoon hours of Thursday the Tampa Bay Lightning brought in some veteran help for the bottom-six. Corey Perry joined the team that’s knocked him out of the Stanley Cup Final in each of the past two seasons. It’s a relatively low-cost deal, valued at $1 million per season over the next two years. While he isn’t the prolific goalscorer he once was, Perry can more than hold his own defensively and could be a fit on a reconstituted third line.
His signing was met with mixed feelings. A lot of folks don’t mind the signing, even at 36-years-old Perry has shown that he can still compete in this league (remember the double-OT game winner in Game Five of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final). He will set himself up in front of a goaltender and create some havoc. That’s not a bad thing to have on the team.
On the other hand, well, he’s Corey Perry. It’s never great when the free agent your favorite team signs has a YouTube video called, “Corey Perry being a jack*** for 4 straight minutes” and it doesn’t even include the hit that he was suspended for five games for. Perry seems to be the prototypical, “hate to play against him, but love to have him on my time” player that blurs the line between acceptable and dirty. Oh, lets face it, he crosses the line from time to time.
One would hope that he might curtail the shenanigans a bit when he skates with the Lightning. After all, he can’t get any power play time if he’s sitting in the box all night long. That might be wishful thinking though. He is who he is and we have to accept that this season. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the signing as I was hoping to see the ice time he’s going to get go to one of the youngsters that will be fighting for a roster spot next season.
Hopefully it works out and Perry is part of a unit that grinds down opposing offenses. Or, surrounded by the best offensive talent he’s seen in a few seasons, he rediscovers some of that scoring touch that was a hallmark of the earlier part of his career. At this point I’m just going to trust in BriseBois and believe that good things are going to happen.
Speaking of good things happening, Cal Foote is back! The youngster signed a two-year deal to stay with the Bolts and is the second Restricted Free Agent to re-sign with the Bolts (Otto Somppi was the first). With Zach Bogosian in the fold, Foote is going to have to fight for minutes, but hopefully last season was a learning experience for him and he comes into camp ready to show the coaching staff he deserves the minutes.
There will be a new captain in Syracuse this season as Luke Witkowski moves on to the Red Wings organization on a two-year deal. This is the second time Witko has left the Lightning organization for Detroit back in 2017. This move probably opens up the “C” for newly re-acquired Garbiel Dumont or Daniel Walcott.
After seeing all of their top players walk out the door over the past couple of seasons, Blue Jackets fans have to be happy to see at least one player stick around. Defenseman Zach Werenski signed a six-year, $57.5 million extension on Thursday to stay in Columbus. Good for him.
The New York Rangers continue to line up opponents for Tom Wilson when he comes to town as they traded a third round pick to Vegas for veteran forward Ryan Reaves. New York has definitely had a distinct pattern to their offseason as they’ve assembled a bunch of guys known for being tough to play against. In the meat grinder that is the Metro division, that could be a good thing. As long as they remember to score goals as well.