July 1, 2012

Pouliot agrees to one-year deal with Lightning

By Jesse Connolly

Traded by Boston to Tampa on Day 2 of the NHL Draft, Benoit Pouliot has agreed to a one-year, $1.8 million deal with the Lightning. 

Fresh off a season that saw him score 16 goals in 74 games, all while average just 12:12 of ice time, the B's certainly got bang for their buck from Pouliot in 2011-12. Last summer, general manager Peter Chiarelli took a flyer on the former fourth overall pick, signing him to a one-year deal at just $1.1 million.

A raise of $700,000 is certainly a fair price for the winger, but Chiarelli's decision to deal him to the Bolts wasn't a financial one.

"We want to leave some flexibility, space and that’s not cap space or anything it’s just I call it development space for [Jordan] Caron to kind of blossom and grow a little bit more as a player," Chiarelli said following the trade.

"That does this. Now if we add a player down the line the rest of the summer, we still feel had we kept Ben and added another player, it really would’ve boxed out Caron."

With the deal, the Lightning officially become Pouliot's fourth NHL team since being drafted in 2005. In his career, he has 53 goals and 104 points in 257 games for the Wild, Canadiens and Bruins.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.