Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Report: Stamkos offered deal averaging $8.5M annually

SUNRISE — The Lightning made a contract offer to C Steven Stamkos in recent weeks that is believed to average $8.5 million annually, Canada's Sportsnet TV network reported Saturday night.

Sportsnet had reported Thursday that an offer had been made but didn't give a dollar amount.

GM Steve Yzerman and Stamkos' agents at Newport Sports have not commented on negotiations, and neither returned messages late Saturday night.

Stamkos is in the last year of his contract and can be an unrestricted free agent July 1. The $8.5 million average would be $1 million more than he makes this season.

DROUIN STATUS QUO: Suspended forward Jonathan Drouin remained home in Montreal, continuing his holdout as AHL Syracuse played without him in Binghamton, N.Y.

There was no indication of progress in Drouin potentially being traded, as he has requested; rejoining the Crunch; or getting his indefinite suspension without pay lifted by the Lightning.

"No change," Yzerman said.

Yzerman has said he's "actively and aggressively" trying to deal Drouin, whose November trade request was made public Jan. 3. Drouin has since said, through agent Allan Walsh, that he doesn't plan to continue with the organization in "any capacity" and isn't playing so he can prevent suffering a trade-altering injury.

There is no time line for a deal. Sportsnet reported that some of the teams that have been interested in Drouin, including the Ducks and Blues, have "backed off" a bit. For what it's worth, Blues assistant GM Martin Brodeur was at Saturday's Lightning-Panthers game.

Though The Hockey News reported that Drouin's trade value is "dropping by the minute," NBC analyst Pierre McGuire disagrees.

"I've talked to a lot of big decision makers the last few days, and I don't see it being an issue," McGuire said.

BUDDING RIVALRY: That the Lightning and Panthers entered Saturday's game the top two teams in the Atlantic Division speaks to the potential of the rivalry. Coach Jon Cooper said he hopes the Panthers make the playoffs for the second time since 1999-2000. "You look at … those in-province, in-state rivalries," Cooper said. "I think it'd be great for hockey in Florida."

VASY STAYING: Yzerman said there was no plan for G Andrei Vasilevskiy to be sent to Syracuse to get starts before the All-Star break, which is Friday-Feb. 1. Vasilevskiy may start the Lightning's final game before the break, Wednesday against the Maple Leafs.

LINING UP: D Matt Carle returned to the lineup as the Lightning went with seven defensemen, scratching RW Erik Condra and RW Jonathan Marchessault.

BOLTS CARNIVAL TODAY: The Lightning holds its second annual family carnival from 1-4 p.m. today at Amalie Arena, with proceeds benefiting local nonprofit groups. There will be interactive games with players, including bubble hockey, balloon darts and skee ball. Tickets cost $40 per person and $20 for children 12 and under. Parking is available in the silver, blue, green, brown and teal lots for $5, with entrance to the arena from Thunder Alley.

Comments
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