Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman announced today that his team has signed forward Brenden Morrow to a one-year contract. The deal is reportedly worth $1.55-million.

It was widely known that Yzerman wanted to inject some veteran leadership and experience into Tampa’s dressing room this off-season; signing Morrow does exactly that. Last season with the St. Louis Blues, Morrow tallied 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points.

He’s not the 20-plus goal scorer he once was, but he proved last year that he can still contribute.

One area of concern for me is that Morrow struggled with puck possession. Despite playing relatively easy minutes on a great possession team like the Blues, Morrow was a negative Corsi player. This has been a trend for him since his days with the Dallas Stars.

Even so, what this signing does do is give the Lightning some very impressive depth. Add to that the experience Morrow will bring to the team’s young locker-room and it’s hard not to at least feel somewhat positive about this deal.

The Bolts are essentially signing a short-term, affordable contract for leadership and other intangibles. There’s really nothing wrong with that, especially if you, like Yzerman, believed that the team was lacking some of those things.

With this signing, I have to imagine that Yzerman is done courting free agents. As the good people over at Bolt Prospects note, the Lightning are nearing the NHL’s 50 contract limit:

With the addition of Morrow, #TBLightning now at 49 contracts (50 is the limit), assuming RFA Panik re-signs. http://t.co/5zRbHgiasa

— Bolt Prospects (@BoltProspects) July 11, 2014

Unless an earth-shattering trade is made over the next month or two, the current roster is likely similar to the one that will show up to training camp. What the final lineup looks like remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt that there will be some intense competition.

As always, thanks for reading. Michael Stuart has been the Tampa Bay Lightning writer for HockeyBuzz since 2012. Visit his archive to read more or follow him on Twitter.

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