The Lightning staff and players may have been a few states away when Hurricane Irma hit the Tampa Bay area over the weekend.
But their minds weren't far away.
"Everyone was paying attention," GM Steve Yzerman said. "The entire country was focused on it. For the good part of the week you're consumed with the hurricane and planning on making plans. For us, it was getting the guys out of town, everyone trying to figure out what they're doing, all of our guys were in the same situation as every other Floridian. Should I stay, should I go? Where do I go? What do I do with my home, my car, dog, cat?"
The Lightning contingent flew late last week to Nashville, where the rookies were scrimmaging Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday against the Predators. The scheduled four-team tournament was supposed to be in Estero at Germain Arena, which ended up being an evacuation shelter.
Yzerman headed back to Michigan, where his family is, Tuesday night before planning to return to Tampa for Thursday's opening of training camp. The rest of the team arrived Tuesday night, getting a chance to check on their homes.
The Lightning is part of a joint $2.7 million donation to Hurricane Irma relief, alongside the Panthers, NHL and NHLPA; both the Panthers and Lightning donated $1 million each. Several former stars - Marty St. Louis, Vinny Lecavalier, Dave Andreychuk and Brad Richards - each donated $10,000, Freddy Modin $2,000. There are plans for donations to be accepted on tampabaylighning.com, Saturday's Fan Fest at Amalie Arena and each of the exhibition games.
And the Lightning will be back to work Thursday, when camp opens.
"From a timing point of view for our team, for a whole host of reasons, everyone got lucky," Yzerman said. "Everyone dodged a bullet this time."