Last week Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos made some very interesting comments, suggesting that answers to the questions surrounding his future in Tampa Bay could be made more clear by the time the deadline rolled around. Now on Monday general manager Steve Yzerman has issued a statement that leaves no doubt as to what the immediate future holds for Stamkos.
“As February 29th approaches, I am stating today that Steven Stamkos will not be traded before the NHL’s trade deadline. I have said repeatedly that it is our hope to reach an agreement with Steven on a new contract at some point, and with 27 games remaining in the season, our entire organization, Steven included, wants to focus on making the playoffs. I will keep the negotiating process strictly between the involved parties and have no further comment on the state of those negotiations.”
Steve Yzerman has made it clear he will not trade Stamkos, regardless of what the futture holds, so unless the Lightning and Stamkos come to terms on a new deal before the end of the season, they now risk losing him for nothing. Although how much of the decision was made by Yzerman as opposed to Stamkos refusing to waive his no-trade is unknown at this time, and could technically be entirely Stamkos' doing.