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Steven Stamkos responds to rumors of a potential trade.

Stamkos asked directly about the recent rumors.

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have some incredibly difficult choices ahead of them. The team is facing some tough challenges as it pertains to the National Hockey League's salary cap and there's a general consensus around the league that suggests the Lightning will have to say goodbye to some of their core players before the puck drops for the 2020 - 2021 regular season.

As a result several big names on the Lightning roster have suddenly been thrust into the rumor mill and there has been no bigger name mentioned thus far than that of Lightning captain Steven Stamkos. In spite of his status as a franchise player the reality is that the Lightning have just demonstrated that they can win the Stanley Cup without Stamkos in their lineup, a fact that no doubt lends credence to the rumors regarding his future. 

This week during a one on one interview with NHL insider Nick Kypreos, Stamkos addressed the topic of those rumors and left little doubt about what the future has in store for him and the Lightning. The Lightning star indicated that he heard the rumors but added that he had no intention of going anywhere, all but confirming that he would use the protection provided to him by his current contract to block any potential trades.

"I have obviously a no move clause,"said Stamkos. "When I signed that contract in Tampa, to be here, that was important for me to get because you never know what is going to happen down the line. I have every intention to play out that contract here in Tampa. We love it here, my family loves it here, we have a great setup, the city has been amazing to us over the years and like I said I want to win again. I definitely don't see myself going anywhere."

Now there's always the possibility that Stamkos could be lying but he definitely sounded genuine when speaking to Kypreos. He was very matter of fact when making the statement and his tone left little doubt in my mind that Stamkos believes that clause in his contract was a reward that he very much deserved for his play prior to signing that deal.

You can hear the man for yourself in the clip below.