Record: 51-23-8 110p (3rd in the Atlantic)
Playoffs: Lost in the Stanley Cup Final to COL
D – Ryan McDonagh (Trade – NAS), F – Ondrej Palat (NJ), D – Jan Rutta (PIT)
D – Ian Cole, F – Vladislav Namestnikov, D – Haydn Fleury, D – Philippe Myers
After failing to three peat as Stanley Cup Champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning will come into the 2022-23 season with a chip on their shoulder as they will look to make it back to the Stanley Cup Final and win their third Cup in four years to solidify themselves as a dynasty. However, they’re going to do so with some changes to their lineup as forward Ondrej Palat (signed in New Jersey) and defensemen Ryan McDonagh (traded to Nashville) and Jan Rutta (signed with Pittsburgh) have all departed while Anthony Cirelli, Mikhail Sergachev, and Erik Cernak all signed eight year deals to keep the core together.
Defenseman Ian Cole was signed to bring some grit and veteran experience to the blue line after losing both McDonagh and Rutta, plus Philippe Myers (acquired in McDonagh trade) and Haydn Fleury add some depth to the Bolts blue line. Forward Vladislav Namestnikov returns for his second stint with the Lightning.
The Lightning are still built very strong and for another long run into the playoffs, but one needs to ask, how much is left in the tank for the veterans who’ve been going deep these last three years, or will they have enough to make it deep once again? One way or another the Lightning are playoff contenders and Cup favorites.