Blog Entry

Lightning, Stamkos agree on five-year extension

Posted on: July 19, 2011 3:32 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 4:32 pm
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By Brian Stubits

The Tampa Bay Lightning have reached an agreement with superstar center Steven Stamkos on a five-year contract. The team made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon.

"Very exciting day for my family and I," Stamkos said on his Twitter account. "Can't thank Mr. Vinik, Mr. Yzerman and the rest of the organization for making this deal possible. Also want to thank my family, friends, agents, teammates, and fans for all their love and support!"

According to Craig Custance of the Sporting News the deal will pay Stamkos an average annual salary of $7.5 million per season, which comes out to a total of $37.5 million. He'll be eligible for unrestricted free agency when the contract expires after the 2015-16 season.

Said general manager Steve Yzerman in a statement released by the team, "Steven is extremely important to this franchise and is part of the foundation of our hockey team. We are very pleased to have him signed and look forward to seeing him in a Lightning uniform for years to come.”

It brings an end to a long saga that had plenty of twists and turns, most made out of fear since it took so long for a deal to be reached. Although the Flyers did contemplate sending an offer sheet Stamkos' way before ultimately passing.

Of course in Stamkos, the former No. 1 overall draft pick, the Lightning are holding on to the league's top goal-scorer over the past two seasons as the 21-year-old has tallied 96 goals in that time frame. He represents not only the future of the Lightning, but perhaps the NHL. Remember, he was recently bestowed the honor of having his mug grace the cover of the video game NHL '12.

The Lightning were determined to get a deal reached with Stamkos, and Stevie Y never waivered on that, saying his team would match any offer sheet if one did come. Alas, it didn't come to that, instead reaching a deal that seems very fair to the team and Stamkos.

He will receive $8 million in the first four years of the contract and then $5 million in the final season. At that point, under the current CBA at least, he will be free to test to the free-agent waters unrestricted at the ripe age of 26, when he figures to be in the prime of his career. If no extension is signed before that point with Tampa Bay, can you imagine the frenzy for him? It would put the Brad Richards courtship to shame.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

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Comments
kkjyywlpo
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 5:15 am
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Since: May 12, 2011
Posted on: July 21, 2011 3:23 am
 

Lightning, Stamkos agree on five-year extension

Well to that, I'd have to say I'm glad I'm a Tampa Fan, with an Owner and GM that are willing to do what it takes to get people in the crowd. What is the insentive then for an owner to care about wins if theyre still making the draw? Maybe this is a reason why Toronto has had so many bad to medicore seasons in the recent past.
 As tampa won the stanley cup, yes they were 3rd in the league in attendence... I'm not too sure what is small market about that. As for the years to follow, the lockout happened the year the Lightning were suppose to defend the cup. The year after that the team was sold after Mr. Davidson died. The roster was completely trashed by the guy who produces the SAW movies, to add salt to the wounds he brings in The longest living mullet in hockey (Barry Melrose) to coach. 15 gams in Melrose is fired. Not just wins get fans in the seats in tampa, but a stable team does too... With a stable team you also get wins... something a big market team like the maple leafs should check up on, ofcourse if they want to win.



Since: May 12, 2011
Posted on: July 21, 2011 3:23 am
 

Lightning, Stamkos agree on five-year extension

Well to that, I'd have to say I'm glad I'm a Tampa Fan, with an Owner and GM that are willing to do what it takes to get people in the crowd. What is the insentive then for an owner to care about wins if theyre still making the draw? Maybe this is a reason why Toronto has had so many bad to medicore seasons in the recent past.
 As tampa won the stanley cup, yes they were 3rd in the league in attendence... I'm not too sure what is small market about that. As for the years to follow, the lockout happened the year the Lightning were suppose to defend the cup. The year after that the team was sold after Mr. Davidson died. The roster was completely trashed by the guy who produces the SAW movies, to add salt to the wounds he brings in The longest living mullet in hockey (Barry Melrose) to coach. 15 gams in Melrose is fired. Not just wins get fans in the seats in tampa, but a stable team does too... With a stable team you also get wins... something a big market team like the maple leafs should check up on, ofcourse if they want to win.



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: July 21, 2011 1:25 am
 

Lightning, Stamkos agree on five-year extension

What makes tampa a small market team? Owner Jeff Vinik has plenty enough money to compete with ANY other NHL team, plus when tampa wins they sell out.

That's the problem and you don't even realize how what you just said is awful.  Tampa only sells out if they are doing well, when they aren't doing well they don't even come close.  Since they won the cup their attendance has come down... from about 3rd in the league to around 16th to 20th most seasons.... not great.   Toronto on the other hand sells out regardless of what happens on the ice... so does Montreal and many other teams.  It's not good enough to do well in the stands when you win... for a team to do well long term and not be considered a small market they need people to show up when they don't win.



Since: May 12, 2011
Posted on: July 20, 2011 9:08 pm
 

Lightning, Stamkos agree on five-year extension

arm chair GMs from the Northern Regions... always quick to support worthless blogs with no base what so ever. Not for a second did i (along with the rest of the hockey fans in tampa) believe stamkos would end up somewhere else. First off the whole "small market" argument is just stupid. What makes tampa a small market team? Owner Jeff Vinik has plenty enough money to compete with ANY other NHL team, plus when tampa wins they sell out. I never understood the argument. Vinik and Yzerman already stated that if an offersheet was thrown Stamkos' way they would entertain it, and sign stamkos no matter the implications. Being 20 Million under the cap, Hedge Fund specialisit Jeff Vinik had the means to make this a fact. As long as your team isn't hurting for money, and enjoys having their Stud RFA around, he wont go anywhere. This is a fact. Based 100% off of common sense. As for you sad Leaf fans that will not see Stamkos in their blue, as you spend more time at the bottom of the standings for a few years you will find a stud to develop... Possibly one will be the caliber of Stamkos.



Since: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: July 20, 2011 3:28 pm
 

Lightning, Stamkos agree on five-year extension

Tampa Bay is currently paying Vinny Lecavalier 10 million a season. You seriously think they wouldn't sign Stamkos for the same? The St. Pete Times forum holds 21,000 and the Lightning proved they could fill it up in the years surrounding their Stanley cup win. The new owners and management know that Stamkos is the key piece to keeping those seats filled. Additionally, the Lightning slaughtered your leafs in attendance because the Lightning sold out 9 playoff games while your leafs watched from home.




Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: July 20, 2011 3:16 pm
 

Lightning, Stamkos agree on five-year extension

I also like many other Leaf fans have to scratch our heads to wonder why Burkie would offer 8-10 million a year for 7yrs, specially after not caring about first round picks for over a decade. Burke may not like offering to restricted free agents, but a local born  superstar at the age of 21 who is playing the position of greatest need on your team doesn't exactly come around that often. It would have been a no risk high reward move, at worst case Tampa after matching would be in financial trouble, now they are financially stable and a way better team then what the Leafs are.

Everything you said is very true.  And I'll add to your post by saying Stamkos is from Markham, grew up watching and following the Leafs and has family all over the GTA.  But like I've already said in another post I believe there is collusion amongst the owners in the NHL, an agreement that says to stay away from superstar RFA's.  And even if i'm wrong there, I know for a fact Burke will NEVER sign a RFA to an offer sheet.  Why?  One, he's a moron.  And two, remember how he acted towards Kevin Lowe when he signed Penner away from Anaheim? Burke would look like a hypocrite so he won't sign a RFA.... ever.   He would trade for one like he did for Kessel but Yzerman was never going to trade Stamkos.... not a chance in hell he would make it easy for somebody to acquire his services.  If somebody wanted Stamkos they would have to cross the line so to speak and sign him to an offer sheet... nobody had the balls.

P.S  If Toronto would have signed Stamkos to a deal similar to what Phili was rumoured to do, Stamkos would be a Leaf today.  Tampa could never match a 12 year 108 million dollar deal at a 9 million dollar cap hit.... that's an impossible deal for a small market team to commit to.   Oh well though, at least they signed Connoly to almost 5 million dollars per season... LOL.....WOW !!! 



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: July 20, 2011 3:10 pm
 

Lightning, Stamkos agree on five-year extension

Every once in a while, a player will take a pay cut to help out his team, and make no mistake, Stamkos' situation is exactly that. When you look at the abundance off inflated contracts that were handed out in the week following the start of the free agency period, Stamkos could've asked for 8.0M to 8.5M a year which the Lightning couldn't have afforded unless some other player was dumped. For this, kudos to Stamkos.

Sorry man, that's not true at all.  Like I said in my other post I read this exact offer being rumoured a month ago and Stamkos didn't sign a thing.  He waited and waited praying to God somebody would come up with a massive offer and give up 4 first round picks but nobody did because there is collusion in the NHL.  There is a good reason why it's so rare for gm's to sign RFA's to offer sheets and collusion is that reason.  The only problem is the union can't prove it.....  



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: July 20, 2011 3:06 pm
 

Lightning, Stamkos agree on five-year extension

Stamkos is to be applauded here more than anyone. He could have laughed in Tampa's face at this offer and nobody would have held it against him. He took a deal well below market value to show that he's a team player and trusts Yzerman to build a contender around him with the money he left on the table.

I'm not sure about that.  I don't think Stamkos had a choice at all.... what could he do?  He was a RFA and nobody in the NHL goes after superstar RFA's... it's an unwritten rule and teams are sticking to it.  The deal Stamkos signed is exactly and almost to the penny the rumoured deal I read a month ago, Tampa offered this deal a long time ago.  Stamkos and his agent waited patiently to see if somebody else would step up with more money but nobody did.... 

Nobody is a hero here.. not Stevey Y and not Stamkos.   Stevey Y had Stamkos by the balls, made an offer a long time ago and stuck to his guns.  Stamkos was forced to wait, couldn't just jump on the deal but waiting didn't help....  



Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: July 20, 2011 1:36 pm
 

Lightning, Stamkos agree on five-year extension

and YES people, I am well aware that just offering an offer sheet does not guarantee Stamkos will wear the blue and white, it just would at least show that Burke wasn't afraid to go " all in"


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