When going deep into the playoffs, you need a team with depth and physicality. No single player can do this by themselves, sometimes, it’s the smallest signings that fill a role the team needs to win. Will Corey Perry bring extra depth and increase Tampa Bays’ chances of winning a third straight cup after signing a two-year $1.1 million contract?
My magic hockey puck says, “all signs point to yes.”
Don’t let the contract size fool you; the veteran forward may be precisely what the Lightning needs to make another deep playoff run. Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Pat Maroon is a perfect example of how minor signings can significantly impact a team in the playoffs.
Tampa Bay signed Maroon in 2019 to a two-year $1.8 million contract. Maroon helped the St Louis Blues win the Stanley Cup in 2018 with ten goals, 18 assists, and a +/- of -3 in the playoffs before joining the Lightning.
With The Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2019 and 2020 playoffs, Maroon’s goals and assists were less than he scored on the Blues. His +/- was higher at +4 and +2. A sign that Maroon’s skills molded perfectly with his Tampa Bay linemates and led to increased team success.
And what skills does Corey Perry bring to the roster to accent the already stacked Tampa Bay Lightning?
Perry has not played an entire season since 2016-2017 due to injury, so don’t expect that this year. But that’s not a deal-breaker at $1.1million. Perry has had 21 points per year in the past two seasons, primarily from assists. Better yet, Perry did this while only averaging 15 minutes of ice time per game. Making Corey Perry a great asset to whichever line he is on with his ability to wreak havoc on the ice with limited time played.
With younger players like Katchouk and Colton playing more, you can expect Perry to fill in rookie gaps in these lines with his energy and experience. He can assist fellow veterans such as Stamkos or Kucherov by adding his ferociousness and playoff knowledge to their already stacked line.
Corey Perry is in a position to add depth and experience to the Tampa Bay Lightning. We know this from the last two hard-fought Stanley Cups (ironically, against the Lightning), where Perry did all he could to give his teams a shot to win it all but fell short.
The low-risk signing of Perry may be precisely what the Lightning needs going into 2021. While his ice time may be shorter during the regular season, expect the Lightning to lean on Perry more in the playoffs to bring his tenacity and experience to the ice.
As the saying goes, “if you can’t beat em, join em.” While that may not exactly be the case here, you can expect Perry to give it his all this season in a quest to be a Stanley Cup Champion and help the Tampa Bay Lightning do what has never been done in the salary cap era, winning three Stanley Cups in a row.Embed from Getty Images