Lightning GM makes a statement on Steven Stamkos' future with the team
Zuma Press  

Lightning GM makes a statement on Steven Stamkos' future with the team

The franchise's all-time leader in games played, goals and points was named captain in 2014.



Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos has been held in limbo for a full calendar year now.

The pending unrestricted free agent has been eligible to sign a contract extension with the Lightning, the only NHL team he has ever played for, since January 1st, 2023. And yet, both Stamkos and Lightning GM Julien Brisebois have made public comments that have to be concerning if you're a Lightning fan. The team and its captain look nowhere near close on a new contract and there's a real belief that Stamkos could hit the open market as a free agent on July 1st.

Keep in mind this is a player who is the team's all-time leader in games played, goals and points. He's likely to pass Martin St. Louis as the team's all-team's all time assists leader by the end of the season also, meaning that he'll literally be the team's all-time leader in every important counting stat. Add to that that he captained the team to back to back Stanley Cups and has been the Lightning's undisputed leader for well over a decade now.

With the Lightning out of the Stanley Cup Playoff race, there's been some talk that Stamkos could be in play ahead of the NHL's March 4th trade deadline. After all, if the Lightning aren't going to make the playoffs and if Stamkos is just going to leave as a free agent, then they may as well get some assets in return for him on the trade market, right?

Not so fast.

Brisebois told reporters today that Stamkos is not in play and will not be traded, no matter the circumstances.

Check it out:

Honestly, I respect Brisebois for not only standing by his captain but for putting the rumors to bed once and for all. 

Let Stamkos and his team get to work on securing a playoff spot without having to wonder what the future holds. While the Lightning may not be as formidable as they were just a couple seasons ago, they're still a very dynamic team with a wealth of experience. Would you really be surprised if this team went on another deep playoff run?

Source: Gabby Shirley