Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Steve Yzerman didn’t have to dip into the foolishness that is the free-agent frenzy to land the title of the National Hockey League’s off-season champion.
He did that by keeping his own talented house in order.
After what Stevie Y has managed to accomplish the past few days, it says here his Tampa Bay Lightning are going to be beasts of the east for most of the next decade.
First, after not budging from the eight-year, US$68 million (an average annual value of $8.5 million) offer tabled to Steven Stamkos months ago, even Yzerman admitted he was surprised when the Lightning captain on Wednesday agreed to take the hometown discount — at least in terms of his hockey home in Tampa, that is.
By leaving money on the table from other interested teams, Stamkos understood that his contract — said to have an average annual value (AAV) that is about $2.5 million per less than what the Buffalo Sabres were willing to give him — gave Yzerman some cap flexibility to lock up some other key pieces to the puzzle moving forward.
added 2:39pm, Release is below...
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed captain Steven Stamkos to an eight-year contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Stamkos, 26, played in 77 games with the Lightning last season, recording 36 goals and 64 points to go along with 38 penalty minutes. He ranked first on the Bolts for goals and was second for points. Stamkos also ranked tied for seventh in the NHL for goals and was tied for fourth for power-play goals with 14. He led the team for shots on goal with 216 and led all Lightning forwards for average time on ice (19:45).
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
So, where to begin with one of the most dramatic half hours in NHL transaction history?
A head-swirling span that saw a swap of two premier defensemen in Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators and P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens, and included the trade of a No. 1 overall draft pick in Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils that was followed by the news that Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos re-signed with the team for the next eight years.
Let's just say the collective hockey heart rate is still beating in the red line, even as we begin to consider all that transpired in that magical 30 minutes.
Let's dive in with a swap of Norris Trophy-worthy defenders and marquee players in Weber and Subban, whose names were not once connected in the ever-swirling trade rumor mill leading up to Wednesday's blockbuster but whose swapping of teams will have repercussions in both cities for years to come.
Subban is 27 and under contract through 2021-22 with a $9 million cap hit. So much for Nashville being a small-market team.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
The Stamkos camp, led by agent Don Meehan of Newport Sports, essentially controls the situation. They’ve had an open interview period to speak with rival teams since Saturday and also enjoy the protection of a no-movement clause in the player’s expiring deal.
As a result, they would have to be central in orchestrating the first sign-and-trade agreement in NHL history.
For teams looking to add Stamkos there may even be a benefit to completing that sort of maneuver with the Lightning. They would have to part with an asset, sure, but it also offers the chance to lower the player’s eventual cap hit by spreading it over eight years rather than the maximum seven they could offer on the open market.
(If Stamkos’s price is $80-million over the length of the deal, for example, that amounts to an $11.43-million annual cap hit on a seven-year contract and $10-million on an eight).
from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
Aside from being seemingly the best on-ice fit, the Lightning, which is believed to have offered Stamkos an extension worth $8.5 million annually, holds a couple x-factors over other suitors — there's no state income tax in Florida and the Lightning is the only team that can offer him an eight-year contract (others only seven).
As a Tampa Bay Times analysis in January showed, Stamkos could net nearly the same annually after taxes in Tampa Bay at $8.5 million as $10 million in New York (Rangers, Islanders), presuming he'd be a New York City resident; Stamkos would make more over the length of the deal in Tampa because of the extra year. Stamkos would net $500,000 less annually than a $10 million deal with Detroit, another strong suitor, but, again, more over the length of the deal.
And Stamkos' hometown Maple Leafs, due to a 53.53 percent combined federal/provincial tax rate, would have to offer him $12.37 million annually over seven years to net the same as he'd make over eight years at $8.5 million in Tampa, according to national sports tax guru Robert Raiola, the director of the Sports and Entertainment group at PKF O'Connor Davis, who has professional sports clients throughout the country.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
So now what?
Well, it’s time for the suitors to make their intentions known.
"We're going to chase the big fish," Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray said in confirming his team’s long-rumored interest in Stamkos.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed Saturday that teams are allowed to publicly talk about their interest in other teams' pending UFAs now that the speaking window has opened.
And the Sabres, well, yeah, they will be in full pursuit of Stamkos. But they expect big-time competition....
I asked Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland to confirm his long-rumored interest in Stamkos after the draft on Saturday -- which became even more realistic after shedding Pavel Datsyuk's cap hit in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes on Friday -- but he declined to talks about Stamkos, pointing out that he didn't see the merit in revealing his UFA game plan to the world.
Nevertheless, it's absolutely 100 percent guaranteed that the Red Wings will make an offer to Stamkos. The Vancouver Canucks and, of course, his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs are among the other potential suitors, and some other teams might surprise.
All of which must be so deflating to Lightning GM Steve Yzerman, who has maintained impressive decorum throughout this process but especially in the last few days, when he had to watch the UFA window open up for other teams without having Stamkos re-signed.
more plus topics like Kevin Shattenkirk, Cam Fowler and others...
I know the Stamkos talk will be one of the major topics in the next week and I assure you KK will not become SS during that time, I will be selective in the talk...
Other teams can now talk to Steven Stamkos but the TSN Hockey Panel explains why that doesn't mean he's done with the Lightning. They also look at a move the Red Wings made that will help them pursue Stamkos.
Watch James Duthie, Darren Dreger, Pierre LeBrun and Bob McKenzie here, available for all geo locations. They also discussed the Edmonton Oilers, Kevin Shattenkirk, Ben Bishop, Marc-Andre Fleury and contract situations in San Jose.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org