It’s been a long wait. But we are about to see the Lightning resume their COVID-19 interrupted season.
Training camp will begin Monday for the Lightning and some things never change. Speaking on a conference call with reporters, Lightning GM Julien BreisBois said that captain Steven Stamkos suffered a lower-body injury in phase two of workouts.
As a result, Stamkos will not be practicing with his teammates at the start of training camp on Monday.
Brisebois did say he’s optimistic that Stamkos will play when games resume, but could not put a time frame on his return.
Alex Barre-Boulet was called up from Syracuse to take the place of Stamkos on the roster.
Other Syracuse Crunch players joining the Lightning on Monday at training camp will be Alex Volkov, Gemel Smith, Cal Foote, Luke Witkowski, and Mathieu Joseph.
The Lightning also called up two goaltenders. Scott Wedgewood and Spencer Martin.
Monday is the last day that players can opt-out playing with no penalty. BreisBois said that he is not expecting any Lightning players to opt-out.
The Lightning will 18 forwards, 10 defensemen, and four goalies as part of the training camp roster.
This will give the team the amount of players needed to have group practices and also have scrimmages.
The Lightning were 43-21-6 when the season was suspended and were in second place in the Eastern Conference.
The Lightning were leading the league in goals at 3.47 a game and were the only team in the East to have four players with at least 25 goals.
Nikita Kucherov had 33, Steven Stamkos 29, Alex Killorn had 26, and Braydon Point with 25.
The Lightning were also in the top ten in defense giving up 2.77 goals a game.
After a slow start, goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy was leading the league with 35 wins with a 2.56 GAA, and a .917 save percentage.
The Lightning will open up their round-robin play on Monday, August 3rd with a game against the Washington Capitals.
The Lightning will then take on the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, August 5th before finishing up round-robin play on Sunday, August 9th against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Toronto will host the Eastern Conference teams, while Edmonton will host the Western Conference teams.
The Conference finals as well as the Stanley Cup final will be played in Edmonton.
Saturday, Aug 1, the qualifying round of the playoffs will begin. This will be a best of five series and here are the matchups.
The first round of the playoffs will begin on August 11th with every team being reseeded after the round-robin play and the qualifying round to determine the top seeds in each conference.
The Stanley Cup finals are set to begin on September 20th and will end October 2nd at the latest.
There has been talk that the 2020-21 season will begin on December 1st, but nothing has been confirmed yet.