Last Season: 54-23-5 113 pts (1st in Atlantic Division; Lost in Eastern Conference Final)
Key Additions: D Cameron Gaunce
Key Departures: D Andrej Sustr, F Erik Condra, F Chris Kunitz, G Peter Budaj, and GM Steve Yzerman
Top Questions Facing the Lightning:
- How will Steve Yzerman’s departure affect the team?
This past week Steve Yzerman shockingly stepped down as General Manager citing family reasons. Having this happen so suddenly, especially with a highly respected hockey mind like Yzerman’s, and during the week that training camp starts. One does have to wonder though is this could also put Jon Cooper on the hot seat.
2. Can the Tampa Bay Lightning rise above?
After three Conference Finals appearances in the last 4 seasons, and with Cooper having a new coaching staff under him for a third consecutive season, one has to ask if this team can rise above and finally get themselves back to the Stanley Cup Finals, or if this is their breaking point. With Salary Cap restraints creeping up on them, this could be a Cup or bust season for the Lightning.