Ex-Lightning forward hints that Steven Stamkos won't return

Will the Lightning have a new captain next season?



Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos has epitomized the franchise since being drafted as the 1st overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft. Over the years, he has solidified his status as one of the greatest players in Lightning history. His achievements include back-to-back Stanley Cup championships, followed by a third consecutive trip to the Cup Final.

Stamkos is also in the final year of his current contract. Leading up to this season, he hasn't hesitated to express his dissatisfaction with the progress of negotiations for a new deal. Should he choose to depart from the only NHL team he's ever played for, potential destinations for Stamkos remain up in the air. 

And according to his former longtime teammate Alex Killorn, who won the Stanley Cup twice alongside him, recently hinted that the Bolts captain could in fact be out the door this summer if he feels like the team doesn't want him back badly enough.

"I think if he could choose, he would stay," he said. "Everyone has a certain amount of pride. He’s going to be a Hall of Famer. At a certain point, if they don’t want you, he won’t want to stay."

The current AAV for Stamkos is a hefty $8.5 million. Will he be back with the Lightning next season, or will there be a different Bolts player wearing the "C" on his sweater? 

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Source: Twitter