Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Stamkos relieved that trade talk distraction is lifted

TAMPA — Now that GM Steve Yzerman made it clear publicly Monday that C Steven Stamkos isn't getting traded, the Lightning captain is relieved to focus on hockey the rest of the season.

"It's been a tough year in that regard to deal with that stuff," Stamkos said. "So hopefully this lightens the load a little bit. I've said all along from training camp that I wanted to be here and I want to win a championship here."

Stamkos, 26, in the final year of his contract, could be an unrestricted free agent July 1. He has a no-move clause, but had not been asked by the Lightning to waive it. Monday's statement by Yzerman that Stamkos won't be dealt at the Feb. 29 deadline was a mutual decision.

"Obviously this is a decision by both parties that we thought was the best route on something that I wanted," Stamkos said. "I'm obviously looking forward to not having to deal with all the questions for the remainder of the season and just focus on hockey and just do my best to help the team win."

Stamkos entered Tuesday's home game against the Sharks second on the team with 22 goals, on pace for his lowest goal total in a non-lockout or injury-shortened season since his rookie year.

"Obviously I feel like I have more to give, and maybe this helps just coming to the rink and focusing on my game and what I have to do to lead this team and help this team continue our playoff push," Stamkos said.

The Lightning has said that Stamkos' contract saga has not been a distraction, but players were happy to hear the captain is staying.

"We never really thought anything differently," C Tyler Johnson said. "To us, he's part of our group. He's our captain. He's our guy. We don't listen to the media. You guys make everything crazy. So we stay away from that as much as possible.

"It's exciting that we know we've got this group, don't know what's going to happen anywhere else, but we have a lot of confidence in this group. We took it pretty far last year, and hopefully we take it one step further."

LINING UP: C Vladislav Namestnikov, still banged up from a hit Sunday, did not play. The Lightning went with seven defensemen, allowing D Slater Koekkoek to play in his first game since Thursday's callup. RW Jonathan Marchessault returned to the lineup and RW Erik Condra was scratched. G Ben Bishop started. Coach Jon Cooper (sick) wasn't at morning skate but was at the game.

MILESTONE WATCH: D Matt Carle played his 700th career NHL game Tuesday against the Sharks, who drafted him in 2003.

"It's kind of fitting how it's coming against the team that I played my first game with," Carle said. "It's a special night. Any time you get these milestone games come up, you take time to reflect a little bit on your career and the people that helped me along the way. 700 sounds like a lot, but it's gone by pretty quick."

NUTS AND BOLTS: The Lightning lines were switched up to start Tuesday's game, with the Triplets back together and Stamkos at center with Ryan Callahan and Alex Killorn. "We haven't scored a lot lately," Stamkos said. "So we'll try to spark something."

Contact Joe Smith at [email protected]. Follow @TBTimes_JSmith.

Comments
Norris Trophy could be good consolation for Lightning’s Victor Hedman

Norris Trophy could be good consolation for Lightning’s Victor Hedman

Victor Hedman is talking from a hotel room in Las Vegas and admits he's a little jet-lagged."Actually, very jet-lagged," Hedman says.That's what happens when you take a flight from Sweden to the party capital of the world.But he knows exactly what he...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Mike Hoffman traded twice in wake of harassment, cyberbullying claims

Mike Hoffman traded twice in wake of harassment, cyberbullying claims

The Ottawa Senators traded winger Mike Hoffman on Tuesday, hoping to solve an ugly off-ice issue involving star defenseman Erik Karlsson and his wife. The Senators sent Hoffman to the San Jose Sharks, who then dealt him to the Florida Panthers. All t...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Salary-cap increase makes for ‘more fun’ NHL offseason

Salary-cap increase makes for ‘more fun’ NHL offseason

Thanks, Vegas. That’s what NHL general managers are saying this offseason after the Stanley Cup Final run of the expansion Golden Knights contributed to what’s expected to be a healthy increase for the salary cap. With elite center John Tavares, No. ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Barry Trotz resigns as coach of Stanley Cup-winning Capitals

Barry Trotz resigns as coach of Stanley Cup-winning Capitals

Barry Trotz abruptly stepped down as coach of the Washington Capitals on Monday after failing to agree to terms on a new contract, a stunning move that left the newly minted Stanley Cup champions without a coach with the draft later this week and wit...
Published: 06/18/18
Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

The Lightning re-signed goaltender Eddie Pasquale to a one-year, two-way contract general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.Pasquale, 27, split this past season between the Syracuse Crunch and Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League. He...
Published: 06/18/18
Lightning opens seven-game preseason schedule at home Sept. 18

Lightning opens seven-game preseason schedule at home Sept. 18

TAMPA — The Lightning will open its seven-game preseason schedule at home with a 7:30 p.m.  game Sept. 18 against the Carolina Hurricane, the team announced Thursday.That is one of three home games the Lightning will play in a preseason sc...
Published: 06/14/18
Lightning trades Peter Budaj to Kings, acquires forward Andy Andreoff

Lightning trades Peter Budaj to Kings, acquires forward Andy Andreoff

Sixteen months after acquiring Peter Budaj from the Kings, the Lightning today returned the veteran goaltender to Los Angeles.The Lightning traded Budaj for forward Andy Andreoff, general manager Steve Yzerman announced in a news release.Andreoff, 27...
Published: 06/13/18
Lightning set as early favorite to win the Stanley Cup in 2018-19

Lightning set as early favorite to win the Stanley Cup in 2018-19

This past season didn't end the way Lightning fans might have hoped, but that's no reason to lose hope.In fact, oddsmakers are more bullish on Tampa Bay than any team in the NHL for next season.According to at least one sports betting site, the ...
Published: 06/08/18
Washington has a new hero. His name is Devante Smith-Pelly

Washington has a new hero. His name is Devante Smith-Pelly

LAS VEGAS — Before Devante Smith-Pelly could relax or breathe or even start thinking about his game-tying goal, he had to start moving his feet.The period of recall began midway through the third period Thursday night, when the Capitals trailed, 3-2....
Published: 06/08/18
Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup wait is finally over. Who has waited longer?

Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup wait is finally over. Who has waited longer?

The Washington Capitals won the first Stanley Cup title in the franchise's 43-year history Thursday night in Las Vegas.And still the St. Louis Blues and their fans wait. The Blues marked their 50th NHL season this year; 50 years without a Cup.He...
Published: 06/08/18