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Lightning players huddle on the ice during training camp late last month at TGH Ice Plex in Brandon. From left are goaltender Brian Elliott, left wing Alex Killorn, center Brayden Point, center Steven Stamkos, left wing Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, and defenseman Victor Hedman.
Tampa Bay moves Alex Barre-Boulet and Gemel Smith through waivers, clearing the way for a 23-man roster.
After winning two Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh, the opportunity to join Tampa Bay was something the vocal Cole, 33, “wanted to jump on.”
After Hurricane Ian shuffles the schedule and prep time, every opportunity to get on the ice is valuable as the regular season approaches.
A strong AHL season and time as a postseason understudy make the 24-year-old a frontrunner to win an available forward spot for opening night.

Latest

  1. Lightning players huddle on the ice during training camp late last month at TGH Ice Plex in Brandon. From left are goaltender Brian Elliott, left wing Alex Killorn, center Brayden Point, center Steven Stamkos, left wing Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, and defenseman Victor Hedman.
  2. Ian Cole, a first-round pick of the Blues in 2007, will play for the Lightning after signing a one-year deal in the offseason.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Forward Cole Koepke is a frontrunner to crack the Lightning’s opening-night roster.
  6. “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.”
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Pictured through the doorway between the two rinks, Lightning players practice during training camp Friday at TGH Ice Plex in Brandon.
  10. 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.
  11. Cole Koepke excelled with the Crunch last season and appears to be the front-runner to fill in while Anthony Cirelli is out.
  12. The masks, pads and sticks are back, and so are the Lightning. Some of the faces have changed, but the Lightning are attempting to be the first team since the 1980s Oilers to reach five Stanley Cup finals in less than 10 years.
  13. Lightning head coach Jon Cooper huddles with his team on the ice during training camp Thursday at TGH Ice Plex in Brandon.
  14. 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.
  15. Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm (14), of Sweden, and San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl (48), of the Czech Republic, battle during a 2019 game in Nashville, Tennessee. The forthcoming NHL regular season’s games between the Predators and Sharks in Prague face an obstacle.
  16. 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.
  17. Lightning center Brayden Point says Wednesday that he feels good and has no pain entering the team's training camp.
  18. Right wing Nikita Kucherov and the Lightning will be looking to establish chemistry with a few new players this season.
  19. 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.
  20. Forward Cole Koepke is hoping to turn a few heads as the Lightning's prospects camp gets going this week.
  21. Jack Thompson is one of the Lightning prospects who will compete at the NHL Prospects Showcase September 16-19 at Invisalign Arena in Morrisville, North Carolina, and PNC Arena in Raleigh.
  22. Madison Square Garden banned New York Rangers fan James Anastasio for life following his arrest.
  23. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (91) shoots a puck on New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) duing Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final in June in Tampa.
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