The two words that excite NHL fans in September: training camp.

We're inching closer to teams reporting for camp starting next week as the latest odyssey for the Stanley Cup will begin in earnest. Can the Colorado Avalanche repeat as Cup winners? Will Johnny Gaudreau be the catalyst to a hockey renaissance in Columbus?

The Bleacher Report NHL staff will answer those questions in due time. This week, we're looking at potential division winners.

Last year, the Avalanche, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames won their respective divisions. Can those four repeat their exploits this season? Or will rival teams knock them off their perches?

It's time for another roundtable as the staff got together to pick the winners of each division this season.


Atlantic Division: Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning never topped their division during a run of three straight Stanley Cup Final appearances and two championships from 2019-20 to 2021-22. Their previous Atlantic Division title was in 2018-19.

Despite the end of their championship run, the Lightning possesses sufficient depth to win their division in 2022-23.

Their core of goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, defenseman Victor Hedman and forwards Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point remain intact. They're still in their playing prime and among the league's elite players.

The Bolts still have a solid supporting cast with forwards Alex Killorn, Anthony Cirelli, Ross Colton, Nick Paul and Brandon Hagel along with defensemen Mikhail Sergachev and Erik Cernak. They also have one of the NHL's best coaches in Jon Cooper.

General manager Julien BriseBois has maintained a solid record for finding suitable replacements for departed players, adding Ian Cole, Philippe Myers and Vladislav Namestnikov to his roster this summer.

Meanwhile, the Lightning's division rivals face serious issues entering this season.

Florida is thin in quality blue-line depth after trading away MacKenzie Weegar and losing Ben Chiarot to free agency. The Toronto Maple Leafs have a questionable goaltending tandem in the oft-injured Matt Murray and the underachieving Ilya Samsonov. The Boston Bruins have an aging core and will start the season with winger Brad Marchand and defenseman Charlie McAvoy recovering from offseason surgeries.