Thursday, April 26, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning adds experience with Brenden Morrow

The first flurry of free agency left the Lightning with one remaining thing on its wish list: a veteran forward to lead a young group.

The team filled that void Friday, signing former Stars captain Brenden Morrow to a one-year deal that ESPN reported is worth $1.55 million.

"We wanted to add some experience," general manager Steve Yzerman said.

The Lightning did that with Morrow.

He captained the Stars from 2006 until he was traded to the Penguins around the 2013 trade deadline. Morrow, 35, played 71 games last season with the Blues after signing as a free agent, scoring 13 goals — including three winners — and getting 25 points. Morrow, 6 feet, 205 pounds, averaged 11:54 in ice time and had a plus-1 rating.

He has 46 points in 94 career Stanley Cup playoff games and won an Olympic gold medal for Canada in 2010. He joins a core of forwards that has eight players born in the 1990s and only one — Valtteri Filppula — who's at least 30 years old.

"It doesn't seem that long ago I was the young guy on the team," Morrow said. "Time flies."

The left wing has scored at least 20 goals in seven seasons since his 1999 debut. He is regarded as strong at faceoffs and is expected to give the Lightning more flexibility across the ice.

"He does all the little things in a game that help teams win," Yzerman said. "He plays hard. He's physical. He's strong."

Morrow said his familiarity with Yzerman and his potential role on the team made signing with Tampa Bay an easy decision. Morrow's Stars lost in the 2000 Stanley Cup final to the Devils, and Morrow thinks the Lightning's core group of young talent has the potential to help him earn an elusive Cup title.

"They're hungry and growing into their own," Morrow said. "I want to be a part of that."

The Lightning also signed forwards Richard Panik and Philippe Paradis to one-year, two-way contracts. No financial terms were disclosed.

Panik had three goals and 13 points in 50 games for the Lightning last season. The 2009 second-round draft pick also had three goals and 11 points in 13 games with AHL Syracuse. Paradis had six goals and 15 points in 56 games for Syracuse last season.

With Friday's signings, Yzerman said the Lightning is likely done in the free agent market. "We're pretty much set with players we wanted to bring in," he said.

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