Tampa Bay Lightning re-sign Nick Paul to seven-year contract

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Nick Paul to a seven-year, $22.05 million contract, general manager Julien BriseBois announced Friday.

Earlier this week, BriseBois had identified Paul as one of three players, along with forward Ondrej Palat and defenseman Jan Rutta, whom the Lightning were focused on re-signing.

The Lightning, as has become a custom the past three seasons, refined their roster in time for the postseason, and in 2022, that meant the addition of Paul from the Ottawa Senators in March. While quickly fitting in with a championship-caliber team, Paul posted five goals and 14 points in 21 games to end the regular season, averaging 14:06 time on the ice while largely playing on the third line.

He truly improved his free-agent value in the postseason, where Tampa Bay won three series and another Eastern Conference title, and took the Colorado Avalanche to six games in the Stanley Cup Final. Paul played in 23 postseason games for Tampa Bay, scoring five times and adding four assists. He spent time on the second line, was a staple on coach Jon Cooper's penalty-kill unit and upgraded his on-ice time to 18:18.

Paul, 27, has 34 goals and 80 points in 248 career NHL games. He made $1.35 million last season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.