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Chris Kunitz signs one-year contract with Lightning

Forward reportedly to make $2 million

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Forward Chris Kunitz signed a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

Financial terms were not released, but Kunitz's agent said the value was $2 million.

Tweet from @BenHankinson: Chris Kunitz is 35+ yrs old so his 1yr - $2M contract with @TBLightning includes up to $1M in ice time bonuses.

"I think [if] you look around the League, you see the teams that have a chance to win, the teams that you kind of pick that you think you'd like to go to that have a great chemistry, a great core group, teams that are close," Kunitz said. "You put those lists together, and some of those teams come calling, you have to make a decision, and for us it was an easy one."

Kunitz, 37, had 29 points (nine goals, 20 assists) in 71 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins last season and 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including the overtime goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Ottawa Senators.

He is the only active player to have won the Stanley Cup four times. He also won it with the Penguins in 2016 and 2009 and with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007.

"For us, our plan was to find somewhere that was a good fit for us, someone who had a chance to win, someone who had a good core of guys," Kunitz said. "Obviously, Tampa [Bay has] had some injuries the last couple of years that have derailed things, but they obviously have a chance. I think everybody knows that when we played against them, they're a dangerous team. Their interest in me obviously makes us feel comfortable picking a place like that, being able to go, and hopefully we can make a difference just the way I play the game -- the straight lines, the physicalness, the getting around the net and trying to add something to their team to make them what we had here the last two years, and that's trying to win the Stanley Cup."

Kunitz, who was undrafted, signed with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (now the Ducks) in 2003 and was traded to the Penguins on Feb. 26, 2009. He had 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in 20 games and 14 points (one goal, 13 assists) in 24 playoff games to help Pittsburgh win the Cup that season.

In 13 seasons with the Ducks/Mighty Ducks, Atlanta Thrashers and Penguins, Kunitz has 580 points (250 goals, 330 assists) in 884 games, and 92 points (27 goals, 65 assists) in 161 playoff games.

"They didn't say, 'You're going to be in this role,'" Kunitz said. "It's something that you come in as a top-nine [forward] and they move their guys around as they see fittingly. But I think there's always chances. Unfortunately, there are injuries throughout the year. I've been a guy able to move up and down the lineup on previous teams. I don't really tag myself as doing one thing really well; I try to do a couple things that can help my team win. Wherever they need me to slot in and try to fill that role, I'll definitely welcome that challenge."

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