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Lightning Round: Lightning sign P.C. Labrie to one-year, two-way contract

A strong training camp helps the big forward upgrade his contract

Florida Panthers v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning made a series of moves on Sunday in order to make their roster cap compliant and to maximize the amount of relief they will get from Long Term Injured Relief. One of those moves was to sign 36-year-old forward Pierre-Cedric Labrie to a one-year, two-contract. While the team didn’t release financial details, CapFriendly is reporting that he will make $770,800 in the NHL and $100,000 in the minors.

This is the second go-round with the Lightning for the fan favorite, Labrie. After going undrafted and then spending a few seasons in the AHL, “Nacho” signed with the Bolts prior to the 2011-12 season. He split time with the Lightning and their AHL affiliates, the Norfolk Admirals and Syracuse Crunch, over the next few seasons.

Over the course of three NHL seasons he appeared in 46 games for the Bolts, recorded two goals and three assists, and racked up 65 penalty minutes. Following his stint in the organization he wandered the hockey world for a little while, playing in the AHL, ECHL, and in Germany.

He returned to the AHL last season, playing 21 games for the Hartford Wolfpack on a PTO contract. Labrie then signed a two-year AHL deal with the Syracuse Crunch in January of 2022, providing some much needed veteran depth for a Crunch team that was struggling. He appeared in 35 games and recorded 8 points (4 goals, 4 assists).

A veteran of 685 AHL games, was invited to the Lightning’s 2022-23 training camp and hung around until last week. It’s likely that he will be placed on waivers once the season officially beings with the intention of being sent to Syracuse. His contract, along with a couple of other moves the Bolts made today, allowed them to get as close as possible to the salary cap once LTIR players are factored in:

Keeping Labrie in the organization does also fill a need for the Lightning. While the days of the enforcer-only hockey player are fading into the nostalgic past, there is a role for a big, physical forward that can use his size to control the puck and win battles around the boards. If Labrie continues to do that while in Syracuse, he might earn an injury-related call-up during the season.

Lightning / NHL News

Ian Cole suspended by team as they investigate sexual assault allegations [Raw Charge]

The team and league are investigation claims made on social media over the weekend. The defenseman will be suspended pending the results of said investigation.

Few surprises as Lightning pare down roster [Tampa Bay Times]

There will be a few paper moves as the team negotiates their salary cap issues, but the team is pretty much the team. Gabriel Fortier and Cole Koepke will be on the on the opening day roster and have a shot to claim a spot even when Anthony Cirelli returns.

Phillipe Myers placed on waivers [Raw Charge]

One of those moves was to put Phil Myers on waivers. Once he (and the $1.125 million of cap hit that can be buried) clear, he’ll be recalled in time for the game against the Rangers on Tuesday. Gotta love paper transactions this time of year.

A certain “writer” for the Toronto Sun made another asinine comment over the weekend. Akim Aliu and Wayne Simmonds both called him out on his b.s.

Rangers sign Jimmy Vesey to a one-year contract [Blue Shirt Banter]

The highly-touted winger never lived up to his expectations as one of the most sought after college free agents of the last decade, but he could play an important role as a third-liner who kills penalties.

Zach Aston-Reese signs with the Maple Leafs [Pension Plan Puppets]

Another forward turned a PTO into a NHL contract. Aston-Reese signed a one-year deal with an $840,630 AAV.