Report: Lightning could consider ditching Steven Stamkos

He's playing in the final year of his current contract.



Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos has been the face of the franchise ever since being selected with the 1st overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, and he's gone on to become one of the greatest players in franchise history along with winning back to back Stanley Cup championships with a third straight trip to the Cup Final afterward. 

He also happens to be in the final year of his current contract, and prior to this season, he wasn't exactly shy about voicing his displeasure with the state of new deal negotiations.

“To be honest, I’ve been disappointed in the lack of talk in that regard,” Stamkos said. “It was something that I expressed at the end of last year, that I wanted to get something done before training camp started. There haven’t been any conversations.”

In the latest episode of "32 Thoughts", NHL Insiders Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek speculated about the possibility of the Lightning doing the unthinkable and trading their captain if they find themselves in an uncertain postseason position at the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline.

EF: "What happens if Tampa is a bubble team and Stamkos isn't signed at the end of the season?"

Marek: "Well, that's what Julien BriseBois talked about at the beginning of the season, we need to see what the season is going to be like here"

EF: "Teams are going to call."

Stamkos wasn't shy about stating his desire to remain in Tampa Bay and finish his career with the only NHL club he's ever played for, but also included the caveat that it isn't in his hands. 

“I would love to extend and play here and finish up my career here but that’s out of my hands,” he added. “I can’t write a contract for myself.”

Right now in 23 games played, Stamkos has scored 10 goals with 13 assists along with a less than ideal -15 rating. In 1,026 games played (all with Tampa Bay), he's tallied 525 goals and 55 assists, while adding another 45 goals and 50 assists in 123 career postseason games. 

Just how odd would it be to see Stamkos wearing a different uniform later this season? Additionally, what kind of haul could the Lightning expect to see in return for their captain in a potential deal? 

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Source: Twitter