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Trade: Lightning fix cap issue by sending Coburn, Paquette to Senators

Lightning trade

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 30: Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn (55) in the third period of the regular season NHL game between the New Jersey Devils and Tampa Bay Lightning on October 30, 2018 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL. (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lighting seem to have pulled it off and become salary cap compliant for the 2020-21 NHL season.

On Sunday night they traded defenseman Braydon Coburn, forward Cedric Paquette, and a 2022 second-round draft pick to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Marian Gaborik and Anders Nilsson.

Coburn and Paquette account for $3.35 million in salary cap space for this season.

[Related: ProHockeyTalk’s 2020 NHL Free Agency Tracker]

Gaborik and Nilsson combine for more than $7 million in salary, but the Lightning already announced that both are being placed on the Long-Time Injured list and will not play this season. Those transactions, combined with the recent news that forward Nikita Kucherov will not play during the regular season, will put the Lightning at a salary cap number of around $80.4 million. That is a little more than a million under the cap.

The Lightning did all of this while also re-signing restricted free agents Mikhail Sergachev, Anthony Cirelli, and Erik Cernak this offseason without having to trade any significant core players from their roster. While losing Kucherov for the season is a significant hole to fill, the Lightning are still loaded with All-Star talent at forward.

As for the Senators, the move gives them two more NHL players to fill out their roster, while the second-round pick replaces the one they traded to the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night for center Derek Stepan.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.