Over two months ago, the Stanley Cup was lifted and paraded around Amalie Arena for all the fans to enjoy as the Lightning celebrated their second consecutive Stanley Cup Championship.
Nine months earlier, the Lightning had won the Stanley Cup with no fans in attendance inside the bubble in Edmonton. This time the arena was full of Lightning fans. The player’s families were also on hand to witness this accomplishment and take in the moment.
Another challenge awaits this upcoming season as the Lightning attempt to become the first team since the 1980-1984 New York Islanders to win three consecutive Stanley Cups.
The Lightning officially opened training camp on Wednesday after a summer of partying with Lord Stanley.
The home opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins is just 18 days away.
Defensemen Victor Hedman said that the fire is still burning to add another Stanley Cup to his resume.
We’re a hungry group. We’re not satisfied. Very happy with winning. But at the end of the day, we love that feeling. We don’t want to see anyone else raise that Cup, that’s for sure.
Alex Killorn talked about winning one Stanley Cup, then two, and the quest for a third.
I felt like I’d be so happy to win one that I don’t really care. Once you have that taste, you want to get it again. The moments, the adrenaline, all the feelings you have going through it, it’s addictive. You want to do it again, if not as much, even more. Imagine doing it three times. How special that would be?” Not a lot of teams do it twice. Three times would be crazy.
Unlike the last off-season, where the Lightning was able to keep the majority of the team together, this off-season proved to be quite different as the Lightning lost some key players from last year’s team.
The Lightning lost Yanni Gourde, to the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft.
Barclay Goodrow signed with the New York Rangers. Blake Coleman signed north of the border with the Calgary Flames, and David Savard signed with his hometown team, the Montreal Canadiens. Tyler Johnson is now a Chicago Blackhawk via mid-summer trade.
The Lightning signed goaltender Brian Elliott to back up Andrei Vasilevskiy. Elliott will make 25-30 starts this season.
Corey Perry signed with the Lightning at the urging of his good friend Pat Maroon. The Lightning also signed Pierre-Edouard Bellemare to a two-year deal.
For the first time in a while, the Lightning will have a few roster spots open. Taylor Rayddsh, Boris Katchouk, and Alex Barre-Boulet all have a chance to make this Lightning team this season.
A player to keep on an eye on is center Simon Ryfers. The 24-year-old Swedish center had 25 goals and 20 assists in 51 games last season, drawing the attention of numerous NHL teams.
Ryfors decided to sign with the Lightning after receiving a call from fellow Swede Victor Hedman to talk about how great the Tampa Bay Lightning organization is. Ryfors will be given every opportunity to make the team and is excited to start his NHL career with the Lightning.
It’s pretty cool to see an organization with that winning mentality and to see how well they develop players. They have brought in a few free agents who have been a pretty big part of the team. I just felt like it was a great opportunity to challenge myself.
The big challenge for the Lightning this upcoming season will be putting together a third line. A grind line will be a pain in the ass to play against. This will be critical in April when the Stanley Cup playoffs begin.
The Bolts are relatively healthy as they begin training camp. Forward Alex Killorn, who broke his leg in the Cup final against Montreal, is skating and is expected to be ready for the opener on October 12th.
Defensemen Cal Foote will begin the season on the DL. Foote had (foot surgery) just about a month ago and will be about till Mid-November.
The Lightning will open up the pre-season schedule on Sunday against the Nashville Predators in Nashville.