The Tampa Bay Lightning have surged their way into the top three in the Eastern Conference, leading the Southeast Division.
Led by the offensively dominating pair of Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos, the Tampa Bay Lightning are on the list of Stanley Cup contenders this season.
But the big question is: how long will the Lightning stay contenders? On paper, they look like a team in trouble.
Aging players like St. Louis and Mattias Ohlund will soon be pushed out by retirement, while other key players like Vincent Lecavalier, Simon Gagne and Ryan Malone may be too old to compete.
But I'm going to go with my gut on this one and say that the Lightning will continue to be a contender for several years and may even be a Stanley Cup favorite someday.
I have a lot of faith in Steve Yzerman. I think he was born with two natural talents: playing hockey and being a hockey executive.
Steven Stamkos will be the electricity in the Lightning lineup and will be a consistent league leading goal scorer. Along with Victor Hedman, Teddy Purcell and Steve Downie, this team will have a solid core of young players.
They have some great forward prospects like Brett Connolly, Carter Ashton, Alex Hutchings and Richard Panik, as well as some able prospects on defense and in net.
I may be proven wrong about the Lightning but I think they will be very strong contenders for many, many years. My instincts tell me Yzerman has big plans for this franchise, both short and long term.
Very few things would make me happier than to see Steve Yzerman hoist the Stanley Cup as a GM. I think it could happen in five years, if not sooner.
Future Stanley Cup chances: Excellent