Matt Carle comes in second on our list of bad free-agent signings, a common punching bag on social media among Lightning fans. Brought in for his second stint with Tampa Bay in 2013, the Lightning had high expectations for Carle to take on a prominent role on the second defensive pairing.
The club coughed up $5.5 Million a year for the defenseman who struggled to fit into his role. Six years at that value was a recipe for disaster as Carle was unable to find his stride. Stuck between being a shut-down defenseman and a puck-moving, offensive defenseman, Carle could never validate the term or money laid out in front of him.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Hindsight is always 20-20, and Carle will be looked back on with sore eyes. While the club enjoyed several deep playoff runs with him on the back-end, Carle was often pointed at when looking at the lack of depth on the Lightning’s defense. Like Malone, the Lightning were forced to eat the final two years of Carle’s contract via a buyout.