Five worst Tampa Bay Lightning contracts of the Salary Cap Era

Jan 19, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Valtteri Filppula (51) looks to pass against the San Jose Sharks in the third period at SAP Center at San Jose. The Sharks won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 19, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Valtteri Filppula (51) looks to pass against the San Jose Sharks in the third period at SAP Center at San Jose. The Sharks won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports /
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Tampa Bay Lightning
May 20, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Matt Carle (25) works out prior to game four of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Tampa Bay Lightning Worst Contracts: Matt Carle

  • Six years for $33 million in 2012

It’s probably not a great sign when your big free agent signing for a defenseman picks up a vote for the Lady Byng Award.

But that was Matt Carle in 2013, who picked up six votes, including a first-place vote, for the “Player who exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”

It’s hard to quantify defensemen with pure stats, and he had a respectable 31 points during the 2013-14 season.

But if you watched him try and play actual defense, you know that wasn’t his strong suit.

Which is a problem when you are a defenseman.

From the 2013-14 season through the 2015-16 year, Carle was 73rd among defensemen in 5 v 5 points with 42 points during even strength play.

However, during this same time frame over three seasons, Matt Carle only delivered 86 hits total during 5 v 5 play.

To give you an idea of how unphysical that is, 211 defensemen had more hits than Carle during that three-year span, including Shane O’Brien, who accumulated more hits than Carle despite playing in 200 fewer games.

After 2016, Tampa said screw it and bought out the remaining two years of his contract.

He soon retired after playing six games with Nashville.