The Lightning fell short of that goal, but Purcell at least reached his goal of staying in Tampa Bay after he impressed management enough to re-sign him for three more years. The financial aspect of this contract extension is yet to be released.
Last season he set career-highs in almost every statistical category including goals, assists, points, plus/minus, and special teams numbers. The most impressive though was his 22 points he scored during an 11-game point streak including four 3-point games.
Re-signing Purcell after he became a free agent at the start of the month was possibly the best move they’ve made this offseason so far.
Purcell was a player who stepped up big for the Lightning last season when they desperately needed it and is beginning to raise his level of potential as his career goes on.
After his first four seasons in the National Hockey League playing part-time (three with the Los Angeles Kings and one with the Lightning) he has become a strong 2nd line winger for Tampa Bay in his last two full time seasons.
“I felt like the past two seasons I’ve really played to my strengths, which have helped me become a full-time NHL player with Tampa Bay,” Purcell said.
Boy has he ever shown it too. Scoring 24 goals and tallying a total of 65 points last season Purcell was ranked in the top 40 in assists and points as well as 60th in points.
Purcell also boosted his resume playing for Team Canada in the 2012 IIHF World Championship. His two points in eight games was a continuation of his strong run he had toward the end of the season and he shows no sign of slowing down.
Scoring 126 points in 181 career games is impressive enough, but 116 of those points came in his last two years with the Lightning. Purcell looks like he could become a franchise player for Tampa Bay and not re-signing him would have been the biggest mistake management could have made.