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Friedman on Stamkos

From Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman:

Tampa’s captain is an unrestricted free agent next July 1, barring a contract extension. Last week, while discussing the blood clot that will keep Andrei Vasilevskiy out of the lineup for up to three months, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman told The Tampa Tribune’s Erik Erlendsson there was nothing to comment on at this time.

The obvious hurdle is the contract negotiation, with Stamkos expected to be in the $10.5M AAV range occupied by Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. It’s difficult to tell where things stand right now because none of the principals are talking, including Yzerman, agent Don Meehan or Stamkos himself. But according to a couple of sources, there are other things at play.

The first is role.

Stamkos prefers to play centre, which creates a top-six logjam with Valtteri Filppula and triplet Tyler Johnson. It sounds like the Lightning would prefer Stamkos to play on the wing to ease that issue. From what I’ve been told, the discussions were professional, but both organization and player remain searching for common ground.

The second is how the Lightning see the future. By the end of the 2016-17 season, they must determine long-term plans for Ben Bishop, Victor Hedman, Johnson, Alex Killorn, Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat and Stamkos.

Yzerman said in June signing Stamkos was his No. 1 priority this summer. Your third-grade science teacher will remind you that, technically, he’s got two more weeks. Even if it doesn’t happen by then, there’s no reason to believe Yzerman’s desires have changed.

Continued, trade rumor included...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+killorn, ondrej+palat, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos, tampa+bay+lightning, tyler+johnson, valtteri+filppula, victor+hedman

Comments

awould's avatar

I would like to see Yzerman engage the wishful thinking clause and tie Stamkos contract to the GM and then bring him to Detroit in 2016. Is that a thing? Maybe it’s a thing.

Posted by awould on 09/07/15 at 10:56 PM ET

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Quincey + Kindl + Andersson.

Really, hard to understand what TB is gonna do. I don’t think there’s enough room for all those guys. I think they have to - and will - trade one of Stamkos/Johnson/Palat/Kucherov.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 09/08/15 at 09:23 AM ET

Paul's avatar

IMO, Stamkos is better playing the wing than center.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 09/08/15 at 09:24 AM ET

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I’m surprised a deal isn’t already done. In fact I’m surprised one wasn’t announced July 1. That says something is a bit amiss.

The Lightning would be wise to look at NHL history. If they cannot find good terms soon, they need to seriously pursue a trade. What they will get for Stamkos at the deadline would pale in comparison to what they could get for him now. Look at the weak returns the Thrashers got for Kovalchuk, a player in a similar position to Stamkos at the time.

Now who could be a realistic trading partner. I’m sure there are a lot of teams that could cobble together a decent offer but both Tampa and Stamkos would have leverage in such an offer RIGHT NOW. Tampas goal would probably be to reduce salary so they aren’t expecting a current superstar in return. They’ll want serviceable NHLers, high rated prospects and picks, picks, picks.

I find it comical that anyone suggests Toronto as a trading partners. Other than the picks their assets are laughable and they desperately need those picks to rebuild.

The Wings actually have the assets but trading him within the division? Highly unlikely.

Get ready for another circus folks. You are on the clock Mr. Yzerman.

Posted by evileye on 09/08/15 at 09:52 AM ET

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I agree, Paul. The team already has enough centers and Stamkos’ biggest threat is his offense - let him have less defensive responsibility (limit the wear and tear) and let him focus on putting pucks in the net.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 09/08/15 at 10:30 AM ET

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Tampa and Stamkos would have leverage in such an offer RIGHT NOW.

The problem is that there are only seven teams with the cap space and two of them are in the division while none of the other five are free-spending teams, never mind whether they have what it would take in players, prospects and picks in order to land a Stamkos.

They would have had leverage around draft day or the beginning of free agency.  As we get closer to training camp the leverage dissipates pretty quickly.

Posted by Garth on 09/08/15 at 11:01 AM ET

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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.

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