After flirting with the idea of leaving the Tampa Bay Lightning, Steve Stamkos will reportedly re-sign with the team for the upcoming season.
For the last eight seasons, Steven Stamkos has been one of the best young players in the entire NHL, leading the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Stanley Cup Finals during the 2014-15 season and within one game of another trip back to the Finals this past season, losing in the Eastern Conference Finals to the eventual champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
The former first overall pick has been loyal to the Lightning, but it was thought that he was going to test the waters of free agency and, in all likelihood, get PAID by some team that was desperate for his services (looking at you, Toronto and Detroit).
As it turns out, Stamkos is nothing if not loyal. Multiple reports say that he will re-sign to a deal with the Lightning … and still get PAID:
Terms of the possible deal haven’t been confirmed, but general manager Steve Yzerman is expected to offer $8.5 million a year for eight years, per Bob McKenzie of TSN. That seems low given how important Stamkos has been to the Lightning’s success in the Eastern Conference in recent seasons, but perhaps he is just that happy down in Florida.
At just 26 years of age, Stamkos has at least a decade worth of good hockey left in him barring an injury. It now appears that much of that time, if not all of it, will be spent in the Sunshine State.
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