By Bradley Walker, 1010 Sports

Tampa (CBS) I’m sure GM Steve Yzerman expected a busy break from hockey after the success the Tampa Bay Lightning had during the 2010-2011 NHL season.

The Bolts went from zero to hero during their impressive playoff run last season, and Yzerman knows that he only has a few solid years left to win the Stanley Cup with his current roster.

Lightning fans were happy to bring back all-star Steven Stamkos for a five-year, $37.5 million deal, but with the current big money contracts of Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis, the Lightning’s budget has taken a substantial hit . Despite his salary restraints, Yzerman has done a good job of handling financial burdens and giving his team the players it needs to compete and win this coming season.

He re-signed goalie Dwayne Roloson, defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron and Teddy Purcell to keep the roster in place for the 2011-2012 season.

He also re-signed breakout defenseman Eric Brewer and brought on Ryan Shannon to add some youth to the squad.

Coach Guy Boucher and the bolts came a game away from representing the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals last year, but this year’s expectations are high and the Lightning will be approached as a legitimate threat by opposing teams after their successful run last season.

The journey to the Stanley Cup Finals begins for the bolts on October 7th in Carolina against the Hurricanes.

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