Lightning Rumors: Insider Confirms Bolts' Focus At Trade Deadline

We've heard the Tampa Bay Lightning being linked to many players on the trade market as we get closer to the deadline, now we're getting confirmation from NHL Insider David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period that defense is the specific area that the Bolts are targeting.

With Mikhail Sergachev on long-term injured reserve, and Erik Cernak & Haydn Fleury also having been out, the Lightning's defense is in need of reinforcements.  

Pagnotta says they have been looking high and low, exploring the D market with discussions across the league, in both conferences, and says "in a perfect world, they'd like to land a defenseman before the deadline."

All that being said, when Sergachev returns from LTIR, which should be shortly after the All-Star Break, he brings his $8.5 million cap hit back into the proceedings, leaving the Bolts with, at this juncture, pretty much zero room to manoeuver. Other moves will have to be made in order for them to bring in any of their proposed targets on the blueline.

We've seen Tampa linked to the likes of former Bolt D-man David Savard ($3.5M cap hit), the Ottawa Senators' Jakob Chychrun ($4.6M hit), Ilya Lyubushkin ($2.75M) of the Anaheim Ducks and the Philadelphia Flyers' much-sought-after Sean Walker ($2.65M cap hit) among others over the past few weeks. With six weeks to go until the trade deadline on March 8th, Lightning GM Julien BriseBois won't rest until he has a new defender in the fold. 

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