TAMPA - Three days before Pierre-Cedric Labrie could have tested the free agent market, the 26-year-old signed to return to the Lightning.
Tampa Bay announced Monday that Labrie signed a one-year, one-way contract. The salary was unknown, but Labrie was on a two-way contract last season that paid him $525,000 at the NHL level and $105,000 in the American Hockey League.
The 6-foot-2, 220- pound winger scored his first career goal last season and finished with two goals and three points in 19 games and was a plus-2 with 30 penalty minutes.
Labrie, a popular figure among his teammates, serves in a lower-line role and has seven fighting majors in 33 career NHL games.
Meanwhile, the Lightning extended qualifying offers to three players, while opting to let four others become unrestricted free agents.
The team said it extended offers to defenseman Mark Barberio and wings J.T. Brown and Dan Sexton ahead of today's deadline. By extending the offers, the Lightning will have the right of first refusal if a player signs an offer sheet with another NHL club and draft pick compensation if the player leaves.Four players will not receive offers and will become free agents when the market opens at noon Friday: left wing Benoit Pouliot, defenseman Brendan Mikkelson, goaltender Pat Nagle and left wing Alex Hutchings.
Pouliot, acquired in a draft-day trade in June 2012, had eight goals and 12 assists in 34 games for the Lightning last season. Tampa Bay was his fourth NHL team since being selected by Minnesota with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2005 draft.
Mikkelson played in only four games for the Lightning last season after playing in 41 during the 2011-12 season.