Tampa Bay Lightning superstar Steven Stamkos is set to become a free agent after this season and would be one of the most attractive unrestricted free agents on the market.
Continue for updates.
Stamkos Comments on No-Trade Clause
Friday, Feb. 12
When asked about the possibility of waiving his no-trade clause, Stamkos told Frank Seravalli of TSN:
I think the answer is we’ll cross that bridge at the time. I don’t think it’s that time right [now]. So, I continue to come to the rink every day as the leader that I am and the teammate that everyone in this room knows that I am, and give my best effort. I’ve said that since Day 1 of training camp and that hasn’t changed.
Stamkos' Agent Comments on Contract Negotiations
Thursday, Feb. 11
Per Scott Lewis of Sportsnet.ca, Don Meehan told Bob McCown and John Shannon of Prime Time Sports on Sportsnet 590 The Fan on Wednesday:
[The contract negotiations are] productive. All of our discussions have been productive, they’ve been professional. Tampa understands and appreciates the fact that Steven has every right and ability to take as much time as necessary to make a decision in relation to his future. That’s really what we’re engaged in at this point in time.
Stamkos Addresses Reported Contract Offer
Monday, Jan. 25
"I'm not going to comment on that," Stamkos said, via Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times. "We haven't talked about that stuff in the media all season long, and I don't know how they get a hold of stuff like that. All the things that we've talked about, it's staying internally, and it'll continue to be that way."
Lightning Reportedly Make Stamkos Extension Offer
Sunday, Jan. 24
Stamkos is currently in the final year of his contract.
That offer seems low, however, when compared to some of the other contract extensions top players have recently signed, as Chris Peters of CBS Sports noted:
The three contracts that agent Don Meehan and his partners at Newport Sports have to have their eyes on are those given to Chicago Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews and Los Angeles Kings top forward Anze Kopitar. Kane and Toews got matching eight-year deals with $10.5 million annual cap hits. Those deals just kicked in this season. Kopitar recently signed a new contract with the Kings for eight years at an annual cap hit of $10 million.
There's little doubt Stamkos would receive that kind of offer on the open market. A certain hockey team in Toronto probably wouldn't blink at that kind of figure.
Stamkos to Draw Big-Money Offers If Lightning Allow Him to Reach Free Agency
As Peters noted, the Lightning have a number of key contributors who will need new contracts in the next year or two, meaning the organization has to be very particular in signing players to massive contracts. That leads Peters to believe that the Lightning will need Stamkos to take a hometown discount to remain in Tampa Bay, as they likely won't be able to offer the type of money he'll receiver on the open market.
Stamkos, who recently turned 26 years old on Feb. 7, has scored 21 goals and recorded 19 assists in this season. He's now scored 20 or more goals in each of his eight seasons with the Lightning, where he's spent his entire professional career, and if he hits free agency, he would have a long line of suitors.
So the Lightning's current reported offer is likely a preliminary one, but it's also likely they won't be able to go drastically higher in negotiations. That will leave Stamkos with an interesting dilemma: potentially take less to stay and remain the centerpiece of a talented Lightning team or earn a bigger payday elsewhere.