Eduardo A. Encina - Lightning Reporter

Lightning Reporter

I’m back for my second stint at the Tampa Bay Times. You may recognize my byline from back in the day when I covered the Rays, Lightning and high school sports. After seven years working in my hometown of Baltimore as the lead Orioles writer at The Baltimore Sun, I’m back covering the Lightning. If you have a story idea, email me, tweet me or send me a three-eyed raven. When I’m not working, I’m likely outside hiking (preferably out of cell-phone range), getting charged by a mountain goat, Instagramming my food, plotting my second career as an astronaut or taking hacks at the nearest indoor batting cage.

  1. Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said it was important to players that their families and pets evacuate with them to Nashville ahead of Hurricane Ian. “I wouldn’t have left without (them); that was the bottom line," he says.
  2. Lightning forward Cole Koepke (45) and Predators center Mikael Granlund (64) chase the puck during the first period of Friday's game in Nashville, Tennessee.
  3. Forward Cole Koepke is a frontrunner to crack the Lightning’s opening-night roster.
  4. “En momentos como estos, lo más importante que podemos hacer es apoyarnos unos a otros”, dijo el propietario de Lightning, Jeff Vinik, en un comunicado, “y esperamos que esta donación ayude a las familias a recuperarse y reconstruir en los próximos meses”.
  5. “In times like these, the most important thing we can do is support one another," Lightning owner Jeff Vinik said in a statement, "and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”
  6. Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59) falls as he chases the puck with Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) and defenseman Victor Hedman (77) during the second period of Thursday's game in Nashville, Tennessee.
  7. The Lightning's Cole Koepke (45) works against the Carolina Hurricanes' Seth Jarvis (24) during the first period of Tuesday's preseason game in Raleigh, North Carolina.
  8. Pictured through the doorway between the two rinks, Lightning players practice during training camp Friday at TGH Ice Plex in Brandon.
  9. Fans gather outside Amalie Arena for the Lightning's official watch party before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final in June in Tampa. The team has postponed preseason home games scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday at the arena.
  10. Cole Koepke excelled with the Crunch last season and appears to be the front-runner to fill in while Anthony Cirelli is out.
  11. El entrenador en jefe de Lightning, Jon Cooper, se encuentra con su equipo durante el campamento de entrenamiento el jueves en TGH Ice Plex en Brandon.
  12. Lightning head coach Jon Cooper huddles with his team on the ice during training camp Thursday at TGH Ice Plex in Brandon.
  13. Lightning defenseman Zach Bogosian wore a red no-contact jerseys but didn't look like a player who was still six to eight weeks away from returning to action.
  14. Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said Wednesday that a player like defenseman Ryan McDonagh can't be replaced. Multiple players will need to step up now, on the ice and in the locker room, to help mitigate his loss.
  15. Right wing Nikita Kucherov and the Lightning will be looking to establish chemistry with a few new players this season.
  16. Defenseman Jack Thompson hopes to show how much he’s improved when a team of Lightning prospects plays squads from the Hurricanes, Panthers and Predators at this week's NHL Prospects Showcase.
  17. Forward Cole Koepke is hoping to turn a few heads as the Lightning's prospects camp gets going this week.
  18. St. Petersburg resident Tim Virgilio mans the Signatures for Soldiers booth at last year's National Sports Collectables Show in Chicago.
  19. Nick Perbix will enter next season on the short list of defensemen starting the season at AHL Syracuse who could help supplement the Lightning’s blue-line depth in 2022-23.
  20. Lightning forward prospect Lucas Edmonds, left, is expected to start his pro career with AHL Syracuse in the fall.
  21. Lightning forward forward Isaac Howard, pictured, during a 3-on-3 tournament at the Lightning development camp last week at TGH Ice Plex in Brandon.
  22. Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev received a huge show of faith from the team after he gained a long-term contract extension and pay bump.
  23. Ondrej Palat will have a much different role in New Jersey, going from a battle-tested locker room full of veterans to a young, rebuilding Devils team.

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