What they're saying
"Whether or not the Lightning are in the playoff mix will depend on how the defense and goaltending hold up. Even if there's an improvement, it will be tough sledding in the new Atlantic Division. But a full season behind (coach Jon) Cooper should see improvements in areas with an eye on the future."
— Sean Leahy, Yahoo Sports' Puck Daddy blog
"How many seasons does (Marty) St. Louis have? At 38, he shows no signs of slowing down. He sizzles in the open ice. He is fast and dynamic, and understands how to probe the soft areas of an opponent's defense. … He might be like Teemu Selanne and be productive into his 40s."
USA Today, predicting Marty St. Louis (right) and the Lightning will finish sixth in the Atlantic Division
"Management's decision to (buy out) the contract of franchise cornerstone Vincent Lecavalier, as well as the drafting of phenom Jonathan Drouin, makes the 2013-14 campaign the start of a new era. … But defense is at the root of Tampa Bay's evils, and GM Steve Yzerman has left the same group intact. Until I see the Bolts have figured out their own zone, I'm skeptical."
— Adam Proteau of the Hockey News, predicting the Lightning will be 12th in the Eastern Conference
"I like the way this franchise is shaping long term, but I think this will be another tough season in the standings. Look for a sixth-place finish in the eight-team Atlantic Division."
— Pierre LeBrun, espn.com