In some ways, the run the Tampa Bay Lightning put together this season was even more impressive than last spring’s trip to the Stanley Cup finals. They fell one game short of a return, losing 2-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7, but they did all but one game of it without their captain, and partially without their Vezina Trophy-caliber goalie. This group is special -- there's no doubt about it -- and if they can stay relatively intact and healthy, they will eventually get back to the finals.
The success this spring, with the partial absences of Steven Stamkos and Ben Bishop specifically, may impact how general manager Steve Yzerman approaches the offseason. Here’s a look at what Tampa Bay’s summer priorities should be: