The Tampa Bay Lightning announced that they have re-signed 24 year old defenseman Nick Perbix to a two year deal worth $1.125m AAV.
The deal includes no signing or performance bonuses but that isn’t surprising for a young player who is playing in his first NHL season. While many people around the league may not know who Perbix is, it won’t be too long before his name starts to become better known.
While Nick Perbix hasn’t been putting up the point totals like Mikhail Sergachev and Victor Hedman have, it’s not the points that the Lightning are excited to bring back. It’s the solid defense he brings to the Lightning’s d-core.
According to MoneyPuck, Perbix leads the Lightning in PIM’s drawn with 16, despite playing less games than the Lightning’s top 4 defense. He’s also not afraid to block shots, blocking 4.16 shots per 60 minutes.
While the Lightning want him for his defense, having 6.3 shots on goal per 60 minutes, 10.86 shot attempts per 60 minutes, and a 6.4 shooting percentage is some of the best for any Lightning player who’s played the same or more amount of games as Perbix has.
The offense is there, and the opportunities he creates are some of the best on the team, which mixed with Perbix’s solid defense has created the perfect top 6 defenseman that is quickly replacing Jan Rutta, who signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the offseason.
The Lightning have struggled with defense in the past, but with the offseason moves made by the Lightning to reesign Mikhail Sergachev and Erik Cernak to long-term deals, as well as the Perbix extension, this puts almost all of the worries about future defensive struggles out the window.
Perbix has a chance to become a top 4 defenseman on the Lightning in the future, but for right now, the defense he brings to the top 6 is what the Lightning have needed and will need if they want to return to the Stanley Cup Final yet again.