TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — This offseason, the Lightning saw the departure of Alex Killorn, Pat Maroon and Corey Perry, to name a few. But they still have a solid nucleus of their star power back, whose goal hasn’t changed.
“We want to win the Cup, that’s for sure,” said Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov.
“I don’t think our window’s closed,” said forward Steven Stamkos. “As long as you do have those guys—like I said, we have the goaltender, we have the defense, we have some elite forwards. You try to build your team around that and to me, it’s still open.”
“Yeah, it’s never going to close,” said Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman when asked if he agreed with Stamkos’s comment. “We’ve got to battle, even though people are not going to pick us to win or even make the playoffs. We still believe in our group and we believe in what we have. We’ve got all the pieces and we’ve just got to put everything together.”
Playing in the Stanley Cup Final three of the last four seasons has meant a quick turnaround for upcoming one. But after a first round playoff exit this spring, the Lightning have had ample time to recover and reset.
“It felt like a really long time,” Stamkos said. “This is probably the first time in a while that the core group of this team has had this long to digest what happened last year but also kind of just have a great summer of resting—getting the body and the mind ready for the season.”
“It was a long summer but I think it was good to actually be able to train a little bit and not just focus on rehab and resting,” Hedman said. “I feel great and very happy to be back and get another season underway.”
Brayden Point and Andrei Vasilevskiy also pointed out that the extra time off was good, not just physically, but mentally, so they could be able to come back fully refreshed for this season ahead.