from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,
The future of Steven Stamkos hangs in the balance.
Stamkos’ present appears to be a bit cloudy, as well.
Through 53 games, one of the top goal scorers in the game is not producing at his usual level. With 21 goals, Stamkos is tied with teammate Nikita Kucherov for 13th in the league, behind the likes of Tyler Toffoli, Brad Marchand, Mike Hoffman and Matt Duchene while sitting 12 goals behind league leader Patrick Kane.
At a pace of 0.40 goals per game, Stamkos is on pace to finish with 33 goals, which would be his lowest full-season total since his rookie year. His goals per game would also be his lowest since 2008-09, when he finished with 23 goals, a rate of 0.29 per game.
While Stamkos can be a streaky scorer, prolonged slumps have not really been a problem since he came into the league. But this season, he has endured a 10-game drought — his longest stretch without a goal since his rookie season — and is in the middle of a stretch with one goal in his past 10 games.
Since a two-goal game at Colorado on Jan. 12, Stamkos has one goal and six assists while registering 20 shots on goal.