Over the last decade or so, the Tampa Bay Lightning have been one of the top teams in the NHL. During that span, they have appeared in the Stanley Cup Final four times and won two of them. During all of this, Steven Stamkos has been right in the middle of it.
For most of their success, he was the captain of the franchise and amongst the best players on the team. Alongside Nikita Kucherov, Andrei Vasilevskiy, and Victor Hedman, they have been nothing short of the best active core in the league.
You might remember that day back in 2016 when Steven Stamkos signed his eight-year contract extension with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He was seen as someone who could leave to go play at home with the Toronto Maple Leafs and he proved all of those people wrong.
In the same 15-minute span, the Edmonton Oilers traded Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils for Adam Larsson and the Montreal Canadiens traded P.K. Subban to the Nashville Predators for Shea Weber. All three of these stories changed the NHL as a whole and they came within 15 minutes.
The Tampa Bay Lightning and Steven Stamkos have been together for a long time now.
Well, not to make anyone feel old but we are in the final year of that Stamkos contract now. He is going to be an unrestricted free agent after the 2023-24 season. This is still a player that is contributing at a high level so he is completely worth another big deal.
Last season in Tampa Bay, Stamkos had 34 goals and 50 assists for 84 points in 81 games played. He may not be a 100-point guy but he is still very much an elite player. The man has 515 goals and 541 assists for 1056 points in 1003 games so he is knocking on the door of the Hall of Fame.
Stamkos will be turning 34 during this upcoming season. He isn’t necessarily getting better anymore but he still has plenty of good hockey to give. If he can be healthy, he will continue to put up tons of points.
With training camp opening up, players, GMs, and coaches are starting to put quotes out there. Steven Stamkos is one of them as he told people about his frustrations about not getting an extension done this summer.
It sounds like Stamkos wants to be a Tampa Bay Lightning player for life and the team agrees. However, Lightning GM Julian BrisBois did acknowledge that things need to be focused on the betterment of the team as well.
It makes it seem like they want Stamkos back but it has to be at a good price otherwise he is going to be gone. That makes sense with Stamkos’s age being where it is. As the team continues to move along, things are going to start changing.
If the Lightning don’t feel that he is in need of the money he is asking for, he will be let free. This is the type of situation that could go either way. We will see in the end how truly the two sides want to stay together.