We didn't get him in the 2008 draft but that will not STOP Burke from getting him in 2011. The leafs are going to win the STANLEY CUP, but in order to ensure this is a realistic goal, the missing puzzle needs to be added. That one player who can change the dimensions of the game, create opportunities, and more over be effective night after night. That ideal player isn't in the leafs roster now but he will soon be, and his name is Steven Stamkos.
Steven Stamkos is going to be LEAF pretty soon, so all you leafs fan brace yourselves, because the second coming is almost here and it is going to be explosive for the leaf organization.
Stamkos contract with Tampa ends in 2011, and he'll become an restricted free agent. The organization is on the fritz, and Stamkos doesn't seem too interested in staying in a market where publicity and the love for the game of hockey isn't as enthusiastic as it should be.
This is a DYING organization, and I strongly believe Stamkos will not resign. Furthermore, Burke will do everything in his power to get Stamkos to the Leaf Organization. Burke's influence is far reaching and very effective.
It is already clear that Lecavalier isn't comfortable playing/working in Tampa, and he might just help change Stamkos's mind about resigning with Tampa.
Stamkos is an open leafs fan. Whether he denies it NOW, being a Tampa player, but once you bleed blue and white it's pretty much imprinted in your blood. It is every kids dream to get to play for the team you grew up watching and idolizing. This isn't any different for Stamkos.
Brian Burke has a way of showing the benefits of being a leaf, he did it to the Monster. Burke is also talented in making great deals-ie. Phaneuf. With this in mind, he has the assets to make this deal work for Stamkos.
Benefits for being a Leaf for Stamkos: Better Salary, Closer to Family and Home, Get to Play for the Team you idolized, and get to be the hero of the organization. What more can you ask for?
Downsides? I can't seem to think of any because being a leaf there isn't any.
Downside of being a Tampa player? How about not getting drafted for the Olympics.
51 goals is no joke. In this day and age, reaching 50 goals is like the 90 goal mark. It is a rare sight to see. Steven Stamkos came out of a slump from his 2008-2009 season and silenced most critics with this 51 goal mark. Pretty impressive to say the least.
Unfortunately for the Tampa organization, Stamkos's manager will demand a salary of $10.5 mills a season + a long term contract. This will surely cripple any chance of keeping most of the Tampa players that are already under contract. So Tampa has a choice here, and it is a very difficult one. It's a predicament that in this Salary Cap era cannot be solved with out some losses. If Tampa doesn't persuade Stamkos with their offer, then all signs point to deal with the leafs.
Leafs fans brace yourselves.