No Widgets found in the Sidebar

TAMPA — Three days after Nick Paul stood at a lectern inside Amalie Arena and expressed his desire to stay with the Lightning, his wish is coming true.

The team announced Friday morning it had signed Paul to a seven-year deal that carries an average annual value of $3.15 million (the total coming in at just over $22 million).

The deal was reportedly coming to a close Thursday night with TSN’s Darren Dreger stating, “Not done yet, but the Paul extension was a priority today.”

Related: Lightning exploring a trade fit for Ryan McDonagh: report

The $3.15 million is a raise from the $1.35 million Paul was making each of his two previous seasons with Ottawa.

This offseason, Paul, 27, was one of three Lightning unrestricted free agents — along with veteran forward Ondrej Palat and defenseman Jan Rutta — that general manager Julien BriseBois expressed an interest in re-signing. The free agency period opens at noon on July 13.

Related: Derek Lalonde leaving Lightning for head-coaching job with Red Wings

Paul made a splash in his short stint with the Lightning after he was traded to Tampa Bay in March. He followed up a 14-point regular-season (since the trade) with a nine-point playoff run, which included five goals.

Paul played on the team’s second penalty-kill unit and stepped up as a top-six forward after Brayden Point suffered a lower-body injury in Game 7 of the first-round playoff series against Toronto and missed most of the rest of the postseason.

This story will be updated.

Contact Mari Faiello at [email protected]. Follow @faiello_mari.

• • •

Sign up for Lightning Strikes, a weekly newsletter from Bolts beat writer Eduardo A. Encina that brings you closer to the ice.

Never miss out on the latest with the Bucs, Rays, Lightning, Florida college sports and more. Follow our Tampa Bay Times sports team on Twitter and Facebook.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.