Stamkos explains why he left Tampa to sign in Nashville.
Chris O'Meara/AP  

Stamkos explains why he left Tampa to sign in Nashville.

Former Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos is now a new member of the Nashville Predators.

Jonathan Larivee

The Tampa Bay Lightning did what many considered to be the unthinkable on Monday when they let long time captain Steven Stamkos walk away from the team as an unrestricted free agent.

Stamkos as we know has now signed a new 4 year deal with the Nashville Predators but that does little to explain why things eventually fell apart between Stamkos and the only team he has ever played for in the National Hockey League.

Following his contract signing, Stamkos admitted that it has been a difficult few days for him as he processes all of the emotion involved in such a monumental decision.

"Well it's been probably as crazy as you can think in terms of the rollercoaster of emotions," admitted Stamkos as per TSN. "So much amazing history in Tampa for my family and I and ultimately trying to work something out there and fell short."

Stamkos also admitted that he was unable to reach an agreement with the Lightning, but added that it wasn't due to a lack of effort on his part.

"Not by my trying that's for sure," said Stamkos.

Stamkos did admit however that, once it became clear his future was no longer in Tampa Bay, he opened himself up to the idea of playing elsewhere.

"Once we kind of got past that we were really open to the opportunity of going somewhere else," admitted Stamkos.

It sounds like the Nashville Predators may have always been the frontrunners for Stamkos, with the city and the organization ticking a lot of boxes for the Stamkos family.

"Every time we were looking for things that would certainly interest us in a new team Nashville kept popping up," admitted Stamkos. "So thankful that they had mutual interest and we were able to get something done."

Although Stamkos says it was difficult to deal with the emotion of leaving Tampa, that burden seemed to lift from his shoulders once he made his commitment to Nashville.

"As crazy as it's been in the last couple of days... and the nerves and that uneasy feeling, once we made that call to Barry Trotz and the Nashville Predators that we were coming, that feeling went away and it's just been pure excitement."

He also made it sound like this was much more of a team driven decision than one of his own doing.

"Depends who you ask," said Stamkos of when the door closed on Tampa. "If you ask Tampa maybe the door was closed a little sooner than if you ask me."

Stamkos even held out belief that the two sides would find a way to come together on a new deal, but to no avail.

"You always think that something is gonna work out, but this morning when I woke up we knew we were gonna make a decision to be somewhere else."

It sounds like the contrast of how he was made to feel by his long time team and how his new team made him feel by welcoming him to Nashville with open arms, has played a big role in making this decision a lot easier for Stamkos.

"Just to have a team show as much interest as Nashville did with how excited they were about the possibility of me coming, from their ownership, to the GM, to their coach, to some of the players on the team that I am familiar with, it just made us feel really really special and really good and made that decision that much easier."