No Communication Between Bolts, Stamkos About New Contract

No Communication Between Bolts, Stamkos About New Contract&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Over the past seven seasons, Steven Stamkos has been one of the most potent offensive forces in the NHL as well as the face of the Tampa Bay Lightning franchise. That could change in the near future. Stamkos is in the final year of his contract with Tampa Bay and to date there has been no communication between the two sides over an extension. That means that he could become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the upcoming season.

According to Stamkos’ agent, Don Meehan, there’s not yet a timetable for discussions: “I don’t think we have any criteria on timing, at this point in time. I’ve mentioned to [Lightning general manager] Steve Yzerman that we’re going to have a meeting with Steven, and then once we’ve had the meeting with Steven then I can go back to Steve.” Meehan continued that the Lightning are aware that Stamkos is just now getting settled into his home in Toronto and starting his offseason training. From what the agent said, both sides are waiting until that’s been done before the subject of a new contract is broached. All Stamkos has said is that the contract ‘will take care of itself’.

Despite speculation that the team might let Stamkos walk at the end of his contract in an effort to ‘go younger’, GM Steve Yzerman is suggesting otherwise saying that resigning their superstar was the top offseason priority: “”We’ve got some other restricted free agents and other contracts we have to do, but that’s the No. 1 priority.” Much of the talk about the Bolts’ parting ways with Stamkos came on the heels of his disappointing playoff performance. After being the #2 goal scorer in the NHL during the regular season he didn’t score in the six game finals against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Furthermore, it’s a significant amount of money–with Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues signing a $60 million deal earlier this week the expectation is that Stamkos would want more. That’s a tough decision for the Lightning who will have a number of talented young players to sign in several years.

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