If you can’t beat them: Perry signs with Lightning

Veteran forward Corey Perry has signed a $2 million, two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning, it was announced Thursday.

General manager Julien BriseBois said Wednesday that he expected to be done making moves, but “if something falls onto our lap that makes sense and improves our team and we can find a way to squeeze it in, we’re certainly open to exploring that.”

The Lightning did just that with Perry.

The 36-year-old Perry, who won the Cup with Anaheim Ducks in 2007, is joining the Lightning after losing to them in the Stanley Cup Final each of the past two seasons. Perry was with Dallas Stars in 2020 and Montreal Canadiens this past season.

He brings more grit to the Lightning, who who are expected to use the long-term injury exemption again like they did last season. The team lost forward Barclay Goodrow and Blake Coleman and defenseman David Savard in free agency and center Yanni Gourde in the expansion draft.

BriseBois showed the desire to replenish some of that lost toughness in signing free agents Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Zach Bogosian.

“[Perry] brings with him a wealth of big game experience to the Lightning,” BriseBois said.

He has played 16 years in the NHL, his first 14 with Anaheim.

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