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2012 NHL Free Agency: Lightning Sign Matt Carle

As the fast and furious portion of NHL free agency is coming to a close, some teams are still adding pieces. The Tampa Bay Lightning have brought back defenseman Matt Carle, the team announced late Wednesday evening. Carle agreed to a six-year contract.

Carle, 6-foot, 205 pounds, has played in 471 career NHL games with San Jose, Tampa Bay and the Philadelphia Flyers. He has amassed 32 goals, 202 points and 17 power-play goals with a plus-55 rating. Carle has played in 80 games or more in each of the previous three seasons, including all 82 the previous two. He has played in 84 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, recording five goals and 35 points. Carle has played in 45 playoff games during the previous three seasons, all with the Flyers. He was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team during the 2006-07 season while with San Jose after a season in which he registered 11 goals and 42 points.

The 27-year old defenseman was originally drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the second round of the 2007 NHL Draft after playing his college hockey at the University of Delaware. The Lightning originally acquired Carle in a trade with San Jose during the 2008-2009 season and spent the past three seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers.

For more on the Tampa Bay Lightning, make sure to visit Raw Charge and SB Nation Tampa Bay. Still not enough hockey coverage for you, make sure to head over to the SB Nation NHL Hub Page for all the latest free agency news from all 30 NHL teams during the offseason.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.