Breaking: Steven Stamkos To Sign With Nashville Predators

Nashville Predators GM Barry Trotz was ready to make a big splash in free agency, and boy, has he ever. Pierre LeBrun reported that the Preds will be signing Tampa Bay Lightning icon Steven Stamkos to a four-year deal worth $8 million AAV.

That $8M AAV is at least double what the Bolts were offering their longtime captain.  He'll be 38 when the deal is done.  

The Lightning were trying to get a longer-term deal done with Stamkos at a lower AAV, but have since pivoted and landed the other big fish in the free agent pond, Jake Guentzel. 

Stamkos has already tweeted his goodbye to the fans in Tampa.

Stamkos, a two-time Stanley Cup champ, recorded 40 goals this past season, his seventh cracking the 40-mark. He played 16 seasons in Tampa, scoring 555 goals (3rd most among active players) with 582 assists in 1,082 games.

The Predators, under Trotz, came into the offseason as one of the more fascinating teams to watch, and that began with a surprising long-term extension for goalie Juuse Saros. That should have been our indication that the Preds were ready to go for it—now. 

And they're not done yet. 

Photo: © Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports