Rumor: Tampa Bay Lightning to Sign Free-Agent Defenseman

The Tampa Bay Lightning climbed themselves out of their salary cap constraints, trading away both Braydon Coburn and Cedric Paquette to the Ottawa Senators. The move not only cleared enough cap space for the team to be compliant financially to start next season, but it also may have created enough room for the team to sign an unrestricted free agent.

A couple of names have been linked to the Lightning and they include both Sami Vatanen and Travis Hamonic. 

The team is trying to find ways to shore up their right-defense depth after the departures of Kevin Shattenkirk and Zach Bogosian, and both Vatanen and Hamonic would bring their own element. Vatanen being more offensive, and someone who much like Shattenkirk, could use the Lightning's one-year deal to spring-board into a longer-term more lucrative contract next season. 

Hamonic on the other hand plays a physical game and would be able to bring some sandpaper to Tampa Bay, which they will need, especially come playoff time. 

The Lightning have to wait until they can move some players on LTIR before making a move, but expect something to come early on this season.

Photo credit: Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire