It's been a long time coming but this could be the first season in a long time that the Tampa Bay Lightning aren't complete pushovers. This years team will be the deepest and most well balanced during GM Jeff Kirk's tenure. While far from contenders the Lightning look to take a step in the right direction thanks to the emergence of promising youngsters Auston Matthews & Patrik Laine, the FA addition of veteran star Henrik Zetterberg and the trade for Jake Gardiner. Up front the team features the aforementioned Zetterberg, Matthews & Laine, complementary players like Tyler Toffoli, Victor Rask & Brendan Gallagher plus a variety of interchangeable players that could lead to a lot of line juggling throughout the season. One of the biggest early season debates will be whether to play youngsters Matthews & Laine, two of the top scoring players in the league, on the same line or to create a balanced attack with two scoring lines. Youngsters like Teuvo Teravainen, Sam Bennett, Markus Granlund and Calle Jarnkrok plus veterans Matt Stajan and Kyle Brodziak will fit into various bottom 6 roles. Marian Gaborik and Matt Moulson appear to be on the outside looking in at this point and may spend parts of the season in the press box. On defense the team has added four new players to the lineup that already included Seth Jones and Adam Larsson giving them a very competitive group. Talented rookie Ivan Provorov will likely jump straight to the top pair and offseason trade acquisition Jake Gardiner will give the PP a boost. Mark Pysyk (RFA offer sheet) and Greg Pateryn (UFA) were both brought in as FA's in the summer. In net promising Russian Andrei Vasilevskiy took another step towards becoming a full time starter but veteran Jonathan Bernier was brought in to ease pressure. Look for them to split games for most the season. The projected opening day roster is: Laine - Zetterberg - Toffoli Granlund - Matthews - Teravainen Jarnkrok - Rask - Gallagher Bennett - Stajan - Brodziak Extras: Marian Gaborik, Matt Moulson Jones - Provorov Larsson - Gardiner Pysyk - Pateryn Extras: Prosser Vasilevskiy Bernier Rumour is the Lightning have been looking to add a top 6 playmaker to partner up with Auston Matthews and another defender to solidify the bottom pair so don't be surprised if things change early in the season.