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Thursday, Apr 26, 2018
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Tampa Bay Lightning

Bolts sign veteran free-agent forward Morrow

— The Tampa Bay Lightning dipped back into the free agency pool Friday to land a veteran forward, signing Brenden Morrow to a one-year deal worth $1.55 million.

The Lightning also re-signed restricted free agents Richard Panik and Philippe Paradis to one-year, two-way contracts.

Morrow, 35, served as captain of the Dallas Stars from 2006-2013, when he was dealt to Pittsburgh at the trade deadline. Morrow spent last season with St. Louis, scoring 13 goals and 25 points in 71 games. In 921 career games, Morrow has 262 goals, 567 points and 1,298 penalty minutes and is a plus-108.

Morrow becomes the elder statesman among a group of young Lightning forwards, including as many as nine younger than 25 when the season begins.

“I think it’s a young team that is coming into their own in the next couple of years, so their window of where they are going to be expected to have a championship season,’’ said Morrow, who participated in a charity game with Tyler Johnson on Friday.

“And they have great leadership and a coach that has won at every level. They are an exciting team. They are a hungry team, and I’m excited about the opportunity to play with this group.’’

A two-time 30-goal scorer, Morrow represented Canada at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, a team put together by Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman. The 6-foot, 205-pound left wing has scored at least 20 goals seven times in 15 seasons, most recently in 2010-11.

“He plays the game hard and he’ll be a real nice complement to the young group of players, him and Ryan Callahan,’’ Yzerman said. “We are looking to change our team a little bit, so I think he provides that with some more grit and hard-nosed play, as well as a ton of experience.’’

Panik, a second round pick in 2009, finished his 2013-14 rookie season with three goals and 13 points in 50 games. The 6-foot-2, 212-pound winger also represented Slovakia at the Olympics and World Championships.

Paradis, acquired from Chicago at the trade deadline in 2013, had six goals, 15 points and 118 penalty minutes in 56 games last season with Syracuse in the American Hockey League.

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