Missing the playoffs last year was a “reality check.”

Tampa Bay Lightning training camp began yesterday. The message coming from the team is clear: we are healthy, we are rested, and we aren’t taking the playoffs for granted.

Below, we’ve created somewhat of a links-style article where player interviews and media photos have been compiled and organized for your viewing pleasure.

Let’s start with the player and management interviews.

Steven Stamkos

“Okay, it’s 9am Steven, stay awake. FOCUS!”

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Steven Stamkos speaks here about the vibes surrounding camp and the excitement for the new season:

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Ryan Callahan

Callahan talks about the challenges he and the team had to face at every turn last season. Cally says that after a full summer, where he was able to heal both physically and mentally, he’s excited to get back to playing games.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy

Vasy will be using part of his training camp to shake off the rust when it comes to his “American” before the season gets underway:

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Tyler Johnson

Tyler Johnson really isn’t a summer person. Johnson say’s that he hasn’t had a season that didn’t end with playoffs since he was 14 years old. Which is good, you want your players to be serial winners. It’s clear that this will be used as motivation all year to get back to the dance and make serious noise.

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Alex Killorn

Killer talks about the reality check that is missing the Stanley Cup playoffs, his experiences at the World Championships, and Brayden Point’s impressive jump to the NHL:

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Victor Hedman

The Lightning’s number one pivot speaks extensively about the impact of Hurricane Irma, how excited he is to get back on the ice (after media day), and the new Adidas jerseys:

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Steve Yzerman

GM Steve Yzerman addresses the media about the expectations he, the media, and the fans have for the team, the players returning from injury, and the prospects. “The final roster isn’t set and that was a message we delivered to our players today.”

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Jon Cooper

Head Coach Jon Cooper speaks about having all the players together to begin training camp and making sure the squad has a strong start to the season. He also notes that there is a noticable difference in the conditioning of all his players: they have less body fat on them, look far more rested, and fit. [Stamkos] looks like he’s got ‘that man strength.’ He’s walking around like a man on a mission.”

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Say “Cheese!”

It’s so great to see the Captain back with the team.

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Can you guess what these boys are thinking? Tell us in the comments!

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This year’s graphics look great!

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I volunteer as tribute!

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Some of the Lightning Alumni getting in on the action!

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Phew, now that the boring media stuff is out of the way, let’s get to some real hockey!


Article first appeared on www.draysbay.com