Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos and his current employers, the Tampa Bay Lightning are reportedly still not close in contract negotiations. Stamkos, 26, has appeared in 569 games for the team that drafted him with the first overall pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He has twice won the “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the leagues leading goal scorer in his time in Tampa. The Lightning have been trying their best to sign the five time all-star,but there is an important deadline coming up that could potentially stand in their way.
On June 25, unrestricted free agents like Stamkos can listen to offers from teams other than the ones that hold their negotiating rights. This could throw a real wrench in the works of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who have been reported to have offered Stamkos a contract worth $84 Million that would average about $8.5 Million per year. it is believed, however, that Stamkos could make sense for a lot of teams to sign. USA Today made out a list of the six teams that would make the most sense for him to end up on. Though, it is believed that the Detroit Red Wings are the most probable location for Stamkos to end up, that is, if he doesn’t already re-sign with Tampa Bay. Stamkos has already voiced that he wants to stay in Tampa because of “unfinished business”.
Still only speculation at this point, but for Lightning fans, the suspense won’t end until their captain is back in Tampa for the forseeable future.