The Tampa Bay Lightning have been fortunate to have multiple cornerstone pieces to build a competitive team around over much of their history. Over the last 20 years, the franchise has had marquee forwards to construct a roster behind, some through the draft, while others were brought in through the free-agent market. The era of Martin St. Louis, Vinny Lecavalier, and Brad Richards laid the groundwork for a cup contender that would eventually turn into Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, and Brayden Point, among others upfront.
By having the fortune of building around these key forward pieces, the Lightning has not needed to always be the biggest spenders in free agency to build the front end of their roster. Like any team, they have had their share of misses in free agency, especially among defensemen. When breaking down the Lightning’s top five worst free-agent signings, we will look into the production and compare it to the deal they were brought in.