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Free agent defenceman Matt Carle signs six-year deal with Lightning

TAMPA BAY, Fla. – Free agent defenceman Matt Carle signed a six-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday.

Carle is coming off a season where he had four goals and 34 assists while averaging 23:01 minutes per game with the Philadelphia Flyers. He led Philly in blocked shots with 164.

It’s a return to Tampa Bay for Carle, who was traded to the Lightning by San Jose exactly four years ago to the day.

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The six-foot, 205-pound Alaska native only played 12 games with the Bolts before being traded to Philadelphia early in the 2008-09 season.

Carle has 32 goals, 202 points and a plus-55 rating in 471 career NHL games.

He has played in 84 career playoff games, recording five goals and 35 points.

The 27-year-old was drafted 47th overall by San Jose in the 2003 draft.