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Lightning Round: Tampa Bay re-signs Sean Day

It’s a nice keep for the defensive depth

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

With an extra day off between Stanley Cup games, Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois took care of a little off-season business as he re-signed defenseman Sean Day to a one-year, two-way contract. Day, 24, spent his second season in the organization last year and produced the best season of his career to date. With the Syracuse Crunch he posted 8 goals and 32 assists in 69 games.

The Belgium native also received his first NHL call-up, appearing in two games when the Lightning were ravaged with players on the COVID list. He didn’t record a point but did have two shots on goal while averaging 10:43 of ice time.

Even though he only had a brief taste of life in the NHL, it was a big year for the former New York Rangers third-round prospect. A huge prospect in junior hockey, Day was just the fourth player to be granted exceptional status allowing him to enter the CHL at the age of 15 in 2013-14. The other three who had been granted similar exceptions prior to Day were John Tavares, Aaron Ekblad, and Connor McDavid - pretty elite company.

Things didn’t progress for him quite as rapidly as it did for the other three and he ended up playing 291 games in the OHL and recording 158 points (42 goals, 116 assists). After the Rangers drafted him in the third round of the 2016 draft he bounced between the AHL and ECHL before joining the Crunch prior to the 2020-21 season.

He is a mobile defenseman who sees the ice really well and has started to play a little more physical as he’s aged. At 6’03”, 225 lbs, he has the size to play that way, but it isn’t natural for him. What is natural is getting the puck out of his end and into the offensive end. Day can run a point on a power play as well.

It’s likely that he will spend most of next season as the Crunch’s top defenseman, but he could be in the mix for the seventh defenseman role in Tampa depending on what happens over the summer. He does play mostly on the right side, and with Jan Rutta possible moving on in free agency, there is an even a chance he could fight for a spot on the third pairing.

Lightning / NHL Names

Relax, Lightning will let you know when it’s time to panic [Tampa Bay Times]

The Lightning do not panic when they are behind in a game or behind in a series. That doesn’t mean they always come back and win, because there have been some lopsided losses along the way. But there is a hardness to their resolve that can unnerve lesser teams.

Lightning players, fans stick to superstitions [Tampa Bay Times]

Hey! We know her!

That’s when Rezak started using her personal altar to promote positive energy. Rezak, raised Buddhist by her Thai mother, used good energy to help balance out the bad starting with Game 2 against New York, the game when Lightning coach Jon Cooper said he felt his team flipped a switch. “It was a nice corroborating coincidence,” Rezak said.

NHL Salary Cap is rising to $82.5 Million next year [ESPN]

The NHL salary cap won’t increase significantly until an estimated $1 billion in debt held by the players is repaid to the owners. Bettman said the league is projecting that debt to be paid off in “two, maybe three years.” Many have speculated the cap will jump in the 2025-26 season.

Torts is heading to Philly [Broad Street Hockey]

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Golden Knights trade Evgenii Dadonov to Montreal for Shea Weber’s contract [Knights on Ice]

The Vegas Golden Knights have traded forward Evgenii Dadonov to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for defenseman Shea Weber, the club announced Thursday.

Weber has four years remaining on his contract, which carries an AAV of $7.86 million. The Golden Knights confirmed that the 36-year-old will remain on injured reserve, making this a pure salary dump for Vegas. Weber missed the entirety of the 2021-22 season due to lower-body injuries and is unlikely to play again.

Bill Haslam reportedly close to buying Nashville Predators [On the Forecheck]

Under the ownership group led by Herbert Fritch, the team and experience grew to new heights in a relatively short span of time. Now, according to a report from Sportico, the Predators are close to being sold to former Tennessee governor Bill Haslam.