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Options For Steven Stamkos

from Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune,

I’m not seeing a deal happening before the trade deadline. I’m also not seeing Stamkos agreeing to a trade that would make him some Western Conference rental player the rest of the season.

That leaves the other scenarios.

1) Stamkos gets traded after the season, before free agency.

No way.

2) Stamkos and the Lightning come to terms after the season, before free agency.

Slim chance.

3) Stamkos traipses into free agency. The Lightning get nothing.

Looking stronger every week.

Meanwhile, in a big game against division-leading Florida on Sunday night, Stamkos had only 14 minutes, 55 seconds of ice time — eighth among Lightning forwards. J.T. Brown had 2 more minutes of even-strength playing time than Stamkos.

Not exactly star treatment.

Is this how major players get treated by franchises bent on keeping them?

Not on my score sheet.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steven+stamkos

Comments

Avatar

I’m not seeing a deal happening before the trade deadline. I’m also not seeing Stamkos agreeing to a trade that would make him some Western Conference rental player the rest of the season.

I’m not sure why it is so clear Stamkos wouldn’t want to play for a contender out West when he knows he can still explore free agency come July 1. The suitors for a rental might be limited but you can’t tell me he clearly wouldn’t want to join a team like Chicago, LA or St Louis if the opportunity existed.

That leaves the other scenarios.

1) Stamkos gets traded after the season, before free agency.

No way.

Why “no way”. I actually see this as a highly likely scenario. Tampa Bay gets the most from his services this year and actually gets something for him. The return won’t be as high as at the deadline but at least it is something. There WILL be teams looking to get first crack at negotiating and it doesn’t hurt Stamkos one bit.

2) Stamkos and the Lightning come to terms after the season, before free agency.

Slim chance.

I’ll agree, that seems unlikely. The Bolts really should be pressuring the situation long before that. The may already know what the numbers/expectations are.

3) Stamkos traipses into free agency. The Lightning get nothing.

Looking stronger every week.

It does look more and more likely but it would be a major mistake on the Lightning part. It shouldn’t come to this. After watching this kind of scenario play out with both Hossa and Kovalchuk in ATL (obviously more at work) if I’m a GM, I’m pressing a star player/agent prior to his final year. I want a clear answer in August and make a plan based on that. There is no reason the bargaining situation needs to go on for so long for players who are clearly elite and the market is fairly clear. Both franchise and player know what they want.

If I’m Stamkos and have all the leverage, I’m asking for a Kopitar like contract (assuming he wants to stay in Tampa Bay) or telling them I’m prepared to leave. Tell them if they aren’t interested, I’ll go to any contender. I’ll listen to offers about extensions but only except what I expect to get on open market. WIth big $$$ on the horizon where I play for the next couple of months isn’t a huge issue.

If I’m Tampa I look at how Stamkos contract fits and how he fits with the teams future come up with a maximum dollar and term amount. This is all I can offer. If he refuses to accept it I tell him I have to trade him. Ask him what teams can I talk to.

It is entirely possible this has all been discussed and just kept quiet. I’d love for the processes to be completely transparent but that’s not how it works.

 

 

Posted by evileye on 01/19/16 at 12:10 PM ET

nEgativezEro's avatar

1) Stamkos gets traded after the season, before free agency.

No way.

I tend to agree with evileye on his opinion here. No way is definitely not the right answer. If Stamkos is still with the Bolts after the trading deadline, and shows every indication that he’s going into free agency, there’s no doubt Yzerman will try to move him to a team that wants his negotiating rights. Especially if that means he can get the 8th year of a deal instead of the 7 on the open market.

However, Stamkos still has the power with the no-move clause, and even for a star, the return will be fairly minimal unless there is some sort of guarantee that Stamkos is interested in signing. If they move him during the “talk to the free agents before July 1st” week, that’s the most likely time. Teams would be able to talk to him and gauge if he’s interested in signing.

2) Stamkos and the Lightning come to terms after the season, before free agency.

Slim chance.

I think it’s slightly more than slim chances. Tampa is a good team, and things sounded pretty rough in Los Angeles for a while too. Eventually Lombardi mostly relented and gave Kopitar the extras he wanted. Tweets aside, there hasn’t been a ton said by Stamkos other than that he wants to win with the Lightning. Yzerman is a smart guy, so a deal could still be well in the works here. However…

3) Stamkos traipses into free agency. The Lightning get nothing.

Looking stronger every week.

This could be the case as well. While the negotiations in the Kopitar contract sounded bad for a while, the player and team relationship seemed strong. Can’t exactly say the same with Stamkos and Tampa. He’s not happy with his position, or his ice time.

You also have to take into account that, again, Yzerman is a smart man. He has Victor Hedman needing a new contract soon. The triplets will all need new contracts. There are a lot of good players and in all likelihood not a lot of cap space to keep them all. Do you spend the bulk on Stamkos for 9-10 million? Or do you put 6-7 towards Hedman, and save 3 or 4 million to go towards Johnson/Palat/Kuznetsov and others. As good as they are, you can see how much the Kane/Toews contracts have handicapped the Hawks. Stan Bowman has been pretty adept at navigating around it so far, but eventually those two will be worth far less than what they are earning.

As insane as it sounds to let a franchise center like Stamkos walk away, when you live in a cap world, sometimes that extra cap space can make all the difference.

Posted by nEgativezEro on 01/19/16 at 12:21 PM ET

Avatar

Why “no way”.

Because he’s got a no-move clause, which means that they can only trade him where he wants to go, and if he wants to go somewhere why would he not just wait until free agency so he can go there and not force that team to give anything up?  And if you’re the team he wants to sign with, why would you give up any assets to get his rights knowing that he wants to sign there anyway?

If he has his heart set on Toronto (for the sake of argument), isn’t it better for both him and Toronto to just sign there on July 1st and allow them to keep whatever picks/prospects they would’ve given up to get him?

Posted by Garth on 01/19/16 at 12:33 PM ET

Mr. Fnytelhatt's avatar

...and if he wants to go somewhere why would he not just wait until free agency so he can go there and not force that team to give anything up?

This is an interesting question. What could it possibly have taken to fracture the relationship between Stamkos and management that he would want to go Scorched Earth on Tampa (if this would indeed turn out to be the case)? Losing him to free agency really would be a massive value writeoff for them, even if the free cap space is considered to be valuable; is there a reason why he would want to leave that kind of legacy?

I could understand if, say,  Martin St. Louis would do that, but there seems to be no obvious reason why Stamkos would be such a d*ck that he both refuses to sign and to accept a trade. And yet, things really seem to be pointing that way at the moment.

Posted by Mr. Fnytelhatt on 01/19/16 at 05:20 PM 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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