Steven Stamkos Eyeing Tampa Bay Return; Been With Team Since 2011
The Tampa Bay Lightning’s No. 1 Center, Captain and best player, Steven Stamkos, has played his last game for the Lightning. However, he says he will consider re-signing with the team when the free agency opens.
Stamkos played 77 regular season games with Tampa this past season, scoring 64 points with 36 goals and 28 assists.
NHL rumors suggest that there will be much competition regarding team salary caps for Steven, who was the top NHL pick in 2008. Stamkos, who signed a 5-year contract worth $37.5 million with Tampa back in 2011, has grown a connection with the team and it’s city, and says he looks forward to returning.
Stamkos expressed his decision regarding his return with ESPN:
“I certaintly hope to be back. We obviously have unfinished business. This group has been unbelievable; the city has been unbelievable for me. I can’t believe it’s been eight years already. Time flies.”
The Canada-native played just one game with the Bay Lightning in the 2016 postseason before injuring his arm in April, and will become an unrestricted free agent this July. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Stamkos has already been offered an 8-year contract worth $8.5 million per year for his return.
Stamkos has developed a reputation for his incredible offense output, which only Alexander Ovechkin’s 2008-09 record could compete with. He could just well demand to be the highest paid player in the league with his value at $11 million, topping Chicago Blackhawks’ Forwards, Johnathan Toews and Patrick Kane, who lead the league with $10.5 million.
With his given talent, Stamkos has a great opportunity at hand as a UFA, as players in his caliber almost never reach the free market in the prime of their careers.
Stamkos has a built a home he’s proud of with Tampa and looks forward to getting back in the game with his teammates.
Although Stamkos isn’t irreplaceable, he is top five, sells tickets with his incredible plays and brings much value to the Tampa Bay Lightning, as well as him actually wanting to re-sign with them.
And for those reasons, it would be a great option for Stamkos.
(Steven Stamkos Eyeing Tampa Bay Return)