Rumor: Lightning prepare to move on from Steven Stamkos

lightning trade rumors steven stamkos

The Tampa Bay Lightning are preparing for all possibilities with Steven Stamkos. Tampa’s captain is an unrestricted free agent next July 1.

Stamkos is demanding a $10.5M AAV contract similar to Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. According to Elliotte Friedman, there are a couple roadblocks to the re-signing of Stamkos.

Stamkos prefers to play centre, which creates a top-six logjam with Valtteri Filppula and triplet Tyler Johnson. It sounds like the Lightning would prefer Stamkos to play on the wing to ease that issue. From what I’ve been told, the discussions were professional, but both organization and player remain searching for common ground. 
The second is how the Lightning see the future. By the end of the 2016-17 season, they must determine long-term plans for Ben Bishop, Victor Hedman, Tyler Johnson, Alex Killorn, Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat and Steven Stamkos.

It’s crazy to think the future wouldn’t include captain Stamkos. Fans thought it was also crazy when former captain Martin St. Louis was rumored to be on the trade block, and that trade came to fruition. General manager Steve Yzerman has shown no fear when making hard decisions if he feels it's right for his team.

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