The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed restricted free agent defenseman Sean Day, who was issued a qualifying offer last month. The one-year, two-way deal will pay Day $750K in the NHL and $100K in the minors with a $125K guarantee, per CapFriendly.
Day, 23, was originally selected in the third round by the New York Rangers in 2016 after being one of the few players to ever receive exceptional status in the OHL. The young defenseman struggled to find his way in the Rangers system, bouncing back and forth between minor league levels, but seemed to turn things around this year with the Syracuse Crunch. In fact, Day recorded 15 points in 29 games with Syracuse, leading all Crunch defenders.
There’s always been a huge ceiling for the 6’3″ Day, who played defense in the OHL at the age of 15, but a lack of consistency has stalled his development. If the Lightning, who have one of the most successful development systems in the entire NHL, can ever unlock the potential, they’ll have found another gem on the scrap heap. Day had his entry-level contract terminated with the Rangers in 2020, only to sign a one-year deal with the Lightning a few weeks later.
Tampa Bay now has just one RFA left to sign in Ross Colton, who is arbitration-eligible. Colton scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal for the Lightning and could be looking at a healthy arbitration award after scoring nine goals and 12 points in 30 games during a successful rookie season. The deadline to file for arbitration is at 4pm today.