Tampa Bay Lightning: The Real Matt Carle Effect

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Dec 13, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Matt Carle (25) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals in the third period at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

If you remember the days of Dan Boyle in a Tampa Bay Lightning uniform, Carle plays a similar game defensivly, but does not offer the same offensive firepower. Nobody exactly was too happy to see him get traded even though his level of play began to descend after the 2005 lockout.

At the end of the day, Matt Carle will never live up to his $5.75 million dollar salary. He won’t play top pair minutes, he won’t score 40 points per season, and his name will not be on the back on many Tampa Bay Lightning fans jerseys. However, you can do much worse than having a veteran like Matt Carle on your blue line.

His contract does not run out until the conclusion of the 2017-18 season and his name will not be involved in trade talks anytime soon, so while Matt Carle patrols the blue line for the Tampa Bay Lightning for what looks to be the next three seasons, take the time to appreciate the little things that he does for this team.

This isn’t a situation like Vincent Lecavalier in Philly where a player making over $5 million dollars per year will be sitting up in the press box. Instead, Matt Carle will be in the lineup night in and night out whether you like it or not. If there is an injury to either Victor Hedman (like there is currently) or Braydon Coburn, Carle has the ability to step up and play a top-4 role effectively.

Do we want him playing top-4 minutes for the remainder of the season and into the playoffs? No. He can do the job well, but we have learned over the years that he is most effective when he is playing 18-20 minutes per night on the third pair. When he is on the ice, you will get a player that is willing to sacrifice his body to block shots, lead the offensive rush, and even score a goal from time to time. So Tampa Bay Lightning fans, it is time to start appreciating Matt Carle just a little bit more. In order for this team to win a Stanley Cup, Matt Carle needs to be on the ice.

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