from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
if accurate, the $8.5 million annual average ($1 million more than his current salary) would put Stamkos eighth in the league, shy of the $10 million that Kings star Anze Kopitar signed for this month, and $2 million less than the supposed benchmark of the $10.5 million each for Blackhawks stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
Was it a lowball offer from the Lightning? Not so fast. The Tampa Bay Times dug deeper into the numbers, with the help of nationally renowned sports tax guru Robert Raiola, revealing potential x-factors: no state income taxes in Florida and the Lightning's ability to guarantee an eighth year on the contract. Raiola calculated that if Stamkos takes $8.5 million with the Lightning, it would net almost the same annually as $10 million in New York, presuming he'd be a New York City resident (see chart). He'd net roughly $500,000 less annually than $10 million deals in St. Louis or Detroit, due to city and state taxes, but take in more money over the length of his contract.
In Toronto, Stamkos' hometown, there's a proposed 53.53 percent federal/provincial tax if he's a Canadian resident. So even if the Maple Leafs offer $10 million annually, Stamkos would net $7 million less total over the length of the deal compared one at $8.5 million annually in Tampa Bay, partly thanks to an eighth year. Stamkos would even make just $1.4 million less total than Kopitar over his eight-year deal with the Kings, assuming Kopitar is a California resident.