It appears that forward Nicholas Paul was just fine with extending his stay in Florida.
Per the NHL’s official website, Paul has put pen to paper on a seven-year, $22.05 million contract to remain with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The deal carries an average annual value of $3.15 million.
Paul, who could’ve become an unrestricted free agent on July 13, originally joined the Lightning on March 20 via a trade from the Ottawa Senators. In 21 regular-season games with his new club, he tallied five goals and nine assists, but the 27-year-old truly bolstered his free-agent value during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Paul appeared in 23 postseason contests for Tampa Bay and contributed five goals and four assists en route to helping the team complete a trip to the Stanley Cup Final, where they fell to the Colorado Avalanche in six games.
“Obviously I love it here,” Paul said about the Lightning earlier this week. “I’m a free agent this summer, but Tampa is definitely a spot I really enjoyed. I like the guys on the team. I’m speaking to my agent right now and he knows my thoughts. We’ll see.
“Everything about this organization is first class. I definitely got a first-row seat to that with how I was treated and how my family was treated. And the other thing is the group of guys in that room. The leaders they have in there, all the way down to the staff, is unbelievable. All they want is success. Everyone is all together. Everyone has a voice.”
In total, Paul has played in 248 career regular-season NHL games and recorded 34 goals and 46 assists.