The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed 31 year-old free agent forward, Conor Sheary to a three-year contract worth $2 million per season.
We have signed two-time Stanley Cup Champion forward Conor Sheary to a three-year contract worth an AAV of $2 million.
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) July 1, 2023
Sheary is a smaller, speedy winger coming off a two year deal in Washington. This past season, Sheary played all 82 games with the Capitals and collected 37 points and 15 goals.
Sheary was part of the back-to-back Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguin teams in 2016 and 2017. In those two playoff runs alone, Sheary played in 45 games and collected 17 points.
Following the trade of Ross Colton and the expectation that Alex Killorn is signing elsewhere, Sheary is a forward who can come in and play solid minutes and provide experience among the Lightning’s top nine forwards. With the cap expected to continue to go up over the three year’s of Sheary’s deal, it likely will age just fine.
Conor Sheary, signed 3x$2M by TB, is a middle-six playmaking forward who compensates for his small size with above-average passing skills and a decent finishing touch. His game has not translated well in the playoffs in recent years. #GoBolts pic.twitter.com/awyvYoBl1w
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) July 1, 2023
By no means is Sheary a direct replacement for Colton, but he will be able to play a similar role for less money than Colton would likely have been looking at. His playoff experience is a bonus and should fit right in with the Tampa Bay dressing room.
For the second summer in a row, the Lightning have looked to plug a hole with an experienced, cheaper veteran option. Last summer, Tampa Bay signed Ian Cole to come in and be a poor man’s replacement for Ryan McDonagh. Funny enough, Cole and Sheary were both part of the back-to-back championship teams in Pittsburgh.