There was no danger of Purcell leaving the Lightning, as he was still under team control and was scheduled to go through an arbitration hearing soon, but this is still a very favorable deal for the Bolts. They now have one of their key players signed for two seasons, not just one, and at a very affordable salary. You can't ask for much more than that.
With this move, the Lightning has all but finalized their 2011-2012 roster. For the most part, the Lightning have been content this year with keeping their roster intact and in adding smaller role players, which isn't a bad strategy considering this roster did get the Lightning deep into the playoffs. With a core of Stamkos, St. Louis, Lecavalier, and Purcell, the Bolts are going to be a force to reckon with this season.
From the press release:
"We were happy to get Teddy signed this morning for the next two seasons," Yzerman said. "He had a good year in 2010-11, his first full season in the NHL, and we look forward to seeing him continue to grow as a contributor for the Tampa Bay Lightning."
"I would like to thank Steve and the rest of the organization for this opportunity," Purcell said. "I'm looking forward to being part of this team for the next two years and beyond as we try and build on last year's success."
Purcell, 6-foot-2, 201 pounds, skated in 81 games with the Lightning last season, registering career-highs for goals (17), assists (34) and points (51). His assist total ranked third on the club, while he placed fourth on the team in points. He also tied for second on the Bolts with a career-best plus-5 rating. In addition, Purcell made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut in 2010-11, recording six goals and 17 points in 18 games played. During the Eastern Conference Semifinal against the Washington Capitals, Purcell notched six assists to tie the franchise playoff record for most in a single postseason series, as he helped the Lightning complete a sweep of their Southeast Division rival in four consecutive games.
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