As the calendar turns to September, the Tampa Bay Lightning are less than three weeks from the opening of training camp. All of the excitement their busy offseason brought will be put to the test as the final roster starts to take shape. With Game 1 against Florida right around the corner, there are players who are most important to the Lightning throughout the 82-game campaign.
Last season showed some interesting trends. Even after losing Steven Stamkos to a broken leg, the Lightning continued to win. But without Ben Bishop in the lineup, things didn't go as smoothly.
The trading of longtime Bolt Martin St. Louis could have sent ripples through the locker room. But it didn't and St. Louis' replacement was active in convincing other big names that Tampa Bay is a great place for hockey.
As the Lightning look to build off their 2014 playoff appearance, these five players will be the most important to the team in 2014-15.