After ratification of the CBA, the Tampa Bay Lightning announced its first training camp roster Saturday.
Tampa Bay's initial training camp roster includes 27 players, including 15 forwards and 10 defensemen.
Newcomers include Benoit Pouilot, B.J. Crombeen, Sami Salo, and Matt Carle, who were all acquired in the offseason.
Forwards include AHL'ers Pierre Cedric Labrie and the AHL's Most Valuable PLayer from last season, Cory Conacher. Conacher scored 80 points last season for the Norfolk Admirals, (39 goals and 41 assists). He was an assist machine in the playoffs for the Admirals, tallying 13 in the 18 games he played.
Of the AHL players listed on the initial training camp roster, three have NHL experience including wingers J.T. Brown and J.T. Wyman, and defensemen Keith Aulie.
The most intriguing part of the Lightning's initial roster list is on the blue line. The team announced 10 defensemen on its training camp roster. This is one of the areas where Tampa Bay looks to improve from last season.
Steve Yzerman and company showed the importance of bolstering the teams' blue-line by signing a few top defensemen in the offseason: Salo (from Vancouver) and Matt Carle (from Philadelphia). The team returns a defense that includes the likes of Eric Brewer, Victor Hedman, Brian Lee, and Marc-Andre Bergeron.
Tampa Bay's camp roster includes two goalies, Mathieu Garon and Anders Lindback. Garon has a 12-3-2 record in his final starts before being sidelined by a groin injury.
Lindback, who was acquired from Nashville in June, enters his first training camp with the Lightning. He posted a .912 save percentage and 2.42 goals-against average in 16 games as a backup to Pekke Rinne.
No one should expect either Garon or Lindback to be named the starting goaltender. Lightning Coach Guy Boucher has said on multiple occasions that he expects both to share duties between the pipes this season. Still, the battle between the pipes will be an intriguing one.
Surprisingly off the training camp roster is forward Brett Connolly. Connolly is getting more playing time with the Syracuse Crunch (AHL) and is ranked 19th in the AHL in scoring this season. Connolly saw action in 68 games with the Lightning last season; mainly due to injuries Tampa Bay suffered. Remember, the kid is 20 years old and has a lot of playing time ahead of him. Hence why he is gaining valuable experience in the AHL. There is no rush to getting him into the Lightning lineup.
Following Sunday's practice at the Times Forum, the Lightning will conduct Training Camp at Germain Arena in Estero Monday through Thursday.
Following the stay in Estero, the Lightning will then return to the Times Forum on Friday with an open practice.