Lightning sign former first-rounder to PTO: potential replacement for Pat Maroon

Published August 24, 2023 at 11:42

The Tampa Bay Lightning lost a lot of grit on their fourth line this summer after trading Pat Maroon to the Minnesota Wild and letting Corey Perry walk to free agency, where he signed with the Chicago Blackhawks.

But it appears that Lightning General Manager Julien BriseBois has found a potential replacement in the enforcer department for the organization.

According to CapFriendly, the Lightning have signed former first-round pick Austin Watson to a professional try-out contract (PTO).

As with all PTO's, Watson will join the Lightning for training camp in September and appear in preseason games before they decide if they'll offer him a contract for the regular season or release him to become a free agent again. If Watson is able to make Tampa Bay's roster out of training camp, he'll more than likely be looking at a one-year deal at the league minimum of $775,000.

Watson, 31, has spent the last three seasons with another Atlantic Division team - the Ottawa Senators. During the 2022-23 campaign, the Ann Arbor, Michigan native appeared in 75 games where he put up 11 points (nine goals, two assists) and tied a career-high in penalty minutes with 123.

The Lightning are set to open their preseason schedule on September 26th against the Carolina Hurricanes, with training camp beginning roughly a week before.

August 24   |   70 answers
Lightning sign former first-rounder to PTO: potential replacement for Pat Maroon

Do you think Watson will earn a contract after training camp?

Yes3854.3 %
No1318.6 %
Depends how he does in camp/pre-season games1318.6 %
See Results68.6 %
Latest 10 stories