from Frank Seravalli of TSN,
Saturday marks not only a date of significance for the Steven Stamkos saga in Tampa Bay, but also a date in which we could see some sort of resolution.
Teams can begin the courting process with unrestricted free agents on Saturday, a full five days before they are permitted to sign on July 1.
The next 48 hours will be crucial in the Lightning’s hopes to re-sign Stamkos, who at 26 is on track to become the youngest superstar ever to hit the open market after nearly a year of unfruitful negotiations.
Lightning GM Steve Yzerman hinted to the Tampa Bay Times this week that time is running out to make a deal - maybe even sooner than next week. With so many other pressing needs for the Lightning, it seems entirely possible that the Lightning could make a final “best offer” on Friday before wishing Stamkos well and moving in another direction.