Win or lose, should the Tampa Bay Lightning already be considered a dynasty?

C. Ritchie
June 14, 2022  (12:55)

Since the National Hockey league introduced the salary cap at the start of the 2005-2006 season, there has been no team as consistently competitive as this Tamp Bay Lightning team. They do have competition with some teams such as the Chicago Blackhawks who won the Stanley Cup three times in 2010, 2013, and 2015. The Pittsburgh Penguins won in 2009 and were also the last team to go back-to-back before Tampa Bay in 2016 and 2017. However, neither of these teams have had the longevity of being at the top of the league as Tampa Bay has.

The definition of a dynasty is no longer like it was in the 80s and 90s when there wasn't a salary cap so it needs to be looked at from a different lens. The Tampa Bay Lightning won their first Stanley Cup in 2004 right before the lockout and the implementation of the salary cap. After the the 2005 lockout, the Tampa Bay Lightning were bounced in the first round of the playoffs two years in a row. Then they didn't even make the playoffs during the 2007-2008 season, but were rewarded with the first overall pick. This set the stage for their first building block to creating a Stanley Cup Contender.
In 2008, the Tamp Bay Lightning drafted future 60-goal scorer Steven Stamkos first overall. in 2009, the Lightning drafted future Norris Trophy and Conn Smythe winner Victor Headman second overall. The team was still struggling and in 2010 made a gamble and brought in first time General Manager Steve Yzerman. A gamble that would payoff huge for the organization as he became known for winning almost every single trade he made. He and his scouting staff were also great evaluators as they continued to do well in the Entry Draft. Yzerman and company drafted players who are still on the team today such as Nikita Kucherov, Onrej Palat, Cedric Paquette, Brayden Point, Anthony Cirelli, and probably the most important piece, future Vezina and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy. No other team in the NHL has that much homegrown talent on their roster.
The Lightning finally returned to the playoffs after a three-year absence in 2011 where they lost in the conference finals to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. Since the 2013-2014 season, the Lightning have only missed the playoffs one time. That was in 2017 where they missed out by just one point. The Lightning made it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2015, the Eastern Conference Finals in 2016 and 2018 and won the Stanley Cup in 2020 and 2021. On top of their post-season success, the Tampa Bay Lightning tied the record for most wins in a regular season in 2019. They have a chance at a three-peat this year, which would be the first time since the New York Islanders in the early 1980s. Not even the Edmonton Oilers teams of the late 1980s won three in a row, but they did win 5 out of 7.
So in the last 10 years the Tampa Bay Lightning have won 2 Stanley Cups, been in 4 cup finals, 6 Eastern Conference finals, and have had the best regular season in NHL history. There could be an argument this team is already a Dynasty, and if not, winning 3 Stanley Cups in a row will all but seal it.
14 JUIN   |   200 ANSWERS
Win or lose, should the Tampa Bay Lightning already be considered a dynasty?

Should this Tampa Bay Lightning team be considered a Dynasty?

Yes, they've been at the top of the league12060 %
No, they need to win one more8040 %
Latest 10 stories