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Lightning Prepare For Season As Lockout Approaches

The Tampa Bay Lightning organization and its players continue to prepare for the 2012-13 NHL regular season, even though a work stoppage could very well begin soon.

ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 12:  Martin St. Louis #26 of the Tampa Bay Lightning moves the puck up ice against the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center  on November 12, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 12: Martin St. Louis #26 of the Tampa Bay Lightning moves the puck up ice against the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center on November 12, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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With the expiration date for the NHL's current collective bargaining agreement fast approaching and a potential lockout looming, the Tampa Bay Lightning continue to prepare for the 2012-13 season like its business as usual.

In his article on Raw Charge on Thursday, John Fontana notes that the small things that signify the beginning of the season, like the release of preseason tickets, are continuing even with the potential of a work stoppage on the horizon:

The promise of an upcoming season is dampened by that labor stuff, though. So, news that Lightning preseason game tickets went on sale last Friday was easy to miss. It's another sign that business for the league continues as usual until it doesn't.

Fontana also noted other examples, like the release of Tampa Bay's national television appearances and players like Martin St. Louis and Eric Brewer renting ice time to practice at the Lightning's training camp facility in Brandon, Fla. Finding hope in such small signs is all anyone can do right now, as the NHL and the NHL Players' Association continue negotiations in the hope of hammering out a new CBA before the current one expires on Sept. 15, 2012.

For more on the Tampa Bay Lightning, make sure to head over to Raw Charge.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.