TAMPA, Fla. — It’s hard to win the Stanley Cup twice in a row. It’s even harder to do a three-peat. But that hunger and drive is still there for the Tampa Bay Lightning. It all starts with Tuesday night’s season opener with the lifting of a new championship banner to the rafters.
“The banner is for the fans,” Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said. “That is who it’s for. They are as much a part of it as we are. I think for the guys it will be a special moment for them.”
“I’m going to have some family in town which will be awesome for them to be here to see it,” forward Ross Colton said. “For me, I am super excited to play on opening night. It’s my first time making the team out of camp.”
On the eve of the season opener, the Bolts ensured that head coach Jon Cooper will be on the Tampa Bay bench for the next four seasons by signing a three-year contract extension through the 2024-25 season.
“I’m excited to be a part of this organization for a few more years and continue to build on the standard we have set,” Cooper said. “It’s the greatest place to work. Tampa is my home. It’s great to be able to be back.”
In eight full seasons, Cooper had led the Lightning to the playoffs seven times including five trips to the conference finals.
The Lightning will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. inside Amalie Arena.