On the record
What's being written about the Lightning:
Steve Yzerman's offseason moves and hires have played to strong reviews. If Simon Gagne stays healthy, the offense has fascinating potential. The defensive changes should make the unit steadier. … Yzerman is expected to lead the Lightning as general manager with the same effectiveness he led the Red Wings as captain. Look for them to make the playoffs.
When you change everything from ownership to GM to coaching staff to key parts of your lineup, cohesion isn't something that happens overnight, which is why coach Guy Boucher spent time at training camp working on chemistry while also warning that these things take time. … We do believe Steve Yzerman has assembled a playoff-ready coaching staff and lineup. The Lightning won't catch Washington for the Southeast Division title but should settle comfortably into the middle of the East playoff pack.
There's no question the Lightning has improved over the past four months with the work Steve Yzerman has done, but is it that easy to peg them as a playoff team in the Eastern Conference? No. The forward depth production is almost nonexistent after the top six, and the defense still needs to show a vast improvement.
There's finally a feeling of stability in Tampa Bay with new owner Jeff Vinik and GM Steve Yzerman. With that came offseason movement in the right direction. … Tampa Bay, on paper, is dangerous."
The Hockey News
With any roster overhaul, there are bound to be some bumpy moments. It may be a challenge for coach Guy Boucher to keep all the Bolts' talented players happy at all times. That being said, if all the new pieces can be pulled together well, the outlook in Tampa is sunny.
Stability. That, in a word, describes what the Tampa Bay Lightning accomplished in the offseason following a tumultuous year that saw the team miss the playoffs and change owners. … This should be a huge bounce-back year for a franchise that was in trouble on and off the ice a year ago. The Lightning should be able to challenge Washington, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia for the Eastern Conference title.