The Lightning launched training camp with a day of physicals, fitness testing and meetings. There was one glaring absence: Restricted free agent Brayden Point is still without a contract. His general manager and teammates chimed in:“I don’t have an update. I’m still optimistic we’ll get something done, but I don’t have a timeline at this point.”To clarify, optimistic you’ll have a contract before the season starts or the December deadline after which Point can’t play this season?“The sooner the better.” RELATED: Lightning to open camp without Brayden Point "You can’t replace a guy like Pointer. We’re still really early. There’s a lot of time before the season.”“We support both sides on that one. Pointer is a great friend and teammate. We want him to do what he has to do. At the same time, we have to worry about ourselves and the guys who are here at camp right now.” RELATED: Lightning start the healing process with new Steven Stamkos commercial “Everything has to take it’s time. We’ve been through this situation before and other teams have as well. We’re obviously hoping to see him here sooner rather than later.” RELATED: Lightning start preseason with looming question: ‘Are we there yet?’ “We are going to work here to get better as a team and individually and then here we get a huge part of our team back and hopefully make us that much better. We know he wants to be here and he wants to be a part of our team. When he gets here, we’ll give him a big hug and we’ll go to work with him.” Contact Diana C. Nearhos at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @dianacnearhos.