Lightning Taking Dangerous Approach To Stamkos Contract

The Tampa Bay Lightning have stood pat in their opinion of captain Steven Stamkos as Julien BriseBois, the general manager, said that he'll let the season play out before negotiating a new contract with Stamkos. He has spent all of his seasons in the NHL with the Lightning, led them to two Stanley Cups, won two Rocket Richard Trophies, and the Mark Messier Leadership Award.

Comments were made during the offseason by BriseBois that they aren't necessarily sure if it is in the best intentions of the Lightning to re-sign Stamkos. This is in part due to his age and likely decline over the next number of seasons. The Lightning are also in very tight for cap space and have had to lose some valuable pieces over the past couple of offseasons.

Stamkos is in the final year of his contract at an AAV of $8.5 million. His next cap hit won't be as high as he will be 34 years old at the beginning of next season. He has gone through some injury problems, but seems to have put those in the past by missing just two games over the past two seasons. In those seasons he also has 76 goals and 190 points in 162 games. If it's a question of productivity, there's nothing to worry about just yet.

BroseBois said, "Ultimately, I made the decision that's in the best interest of our organization to wait until after the season to see what we have here, see how we perform, see how all these different, new pieces fit." The Lightning have all of their core but Stamkos signed long-term and until last season, made it to the Cup Final in three consecutive seasons. We'll have to wait how the season plays out with Stamkos and the other players, playoffs included.

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