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Photo timeline: Highlights from Steven Stamkos' career with the Lightning

In his first eight seasons with the Lightning, Steven Stamkos scored more than 300 goals and exceeded 500 points.

He tallied 30 or more goals five times, 40 or more four times, 50 or more twice, and 60 once. He earned two Rocket Richard Trophies as the NHL's top goal-scorer.

He played in three conference finals and one Stanley Cup final. He participated in four All-Star games.

He came back twice from injuries that were considered season- or even career-ending at the time.

And he was named captain, the highest honor a team can bestow on a player.

With Wednesday's news that Stamkos has agreed to return to the team on a new 8-year-deal, here is a timeline of some of his biggest moments in a Lightning sweater:

MAY 1, 2008

Lightning creates website to hype Stamkos

Getty Images

In an era when "viral" homemade videos on YouTube and guerilla marketing campaigns took products to the people, the Lightning took a clever approach to generating excitement for its 2008-09 season and the player it would select with the first overall pick. Some fans found a business card with "seenstamkos.com" tucked under their wiper blade. Others saw a billboard, a sidewalk graphic or bumper sticker. Still others had their lunch blitzed by a "flash mob" of Lightning marketing staffers, in the hopes that they would click over to the Web site dedicated to its next star. Read more here.

JUNE 20, 2008

Lightning makes Stamkos first overall pick

DIRK SHADD | Times

Lightning superstar Vinny Lecavalier said he would give Stamkos one night to enjoy with friends and family being the NHL draft's first overall pick. After that, the job of integrating Stamkos into the Tampa Bay family began in earnest. Read more here.

First rookie cards?

Times

The Times created five different "rookie cards" of Steve (as he was called at the time) Stamkos to coincide with the Lightning making him the first pick in the draft. View and print them here.

FEBRUARY 17, 2009

Lightning wastes Stamkos' first hat trick

DIRK SHADD | Times

Stamkos was caught in a weird place. The Lightning center felt great after becoming the first Tampa Bay rookie with a hat trick. But he felt lousy because his team came up short, 5-3 to the Blackhawks at the St. Pete Times Forum. Read more here.

APRIL 11, 2010

Stamkos shares Rocket Richard Trophy

Getty Images

Stamkos, with 51 goals, sat in the dressing room at the BankAtlantic Center and watched on television to see if Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby would score in overtime against the Islanders to break their tie for the league lead. He did not, so the players would share the Rocket Richard Trophy, one goal ahead of Washington's Alex Ovechkin. Read more here

MAY 27, 2011

Stamkos hit in face with puck

DIRK SHADD | Times

Stamkos was part of a scary moment five minutes into the second period of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final, taking a slap shot from Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk off his face that broke his nose and sent him to the ice. Stamkos, with a streak of blood on the right side of his nose and wearing a caged mask, returned six minutes later and played the rest of the game. Read more here.

APRIL 7, 2012

Stamkos scores 60th goal

AP photo

Stamkos' goal 3:29 into the third period of a 4-3 win in Winnipeg made him only the second player in 15 seasons to reach 60 goals and the first since Washington's Alex Ovechkin scored 65 in 2007-08. Read more here.

JUNE 20, 2012

Stamkos gets second Rocket Richard Trophy

Getty Images

Stamkos, who scored 60 goals, received his second Rocket Richard Trophy in three seasons as the league's leading goal-scorer. He finished second to Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin in the voting for the Hart Trophy, which goes to the NHL's most valuable player. Read more here.

NOVEMBER 11, 2013

Stamkos suffers broken tibia

Boston Globe

Stamkos broke his right tibia when he crashed into the right post of the Lightning net in the second period of a 3-0 loss to the Bruins. He was put on a stretcher and went by ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he would have surgery the next morning to repair a displaced fracture. Read more here.

MARCH 6, 2014

Stamkos cleared to return from broken tibia

DIRK SHADD | Times

Stamkos, who was injured when he slid into a goalpost and later had a titanium rod inserted into the bone to facilitate healing, was cleared to play against the Buffalo Sabres after missing 45 games with a broken right tibia. Read more here.

MARCH 6, 2014

Stamkos named captain

DIRK SHADD | Times

Stamkos considered Marty St. Louis one of his best friends and a mentor. So, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman understandably was "concerned'' about Stamkos' emotions and how he might perceive the organization after St. Louis was traded to the New York Rangers for Ryan Callahan and two draft picks. One step in that process was naming Stamkos, with two years left on his contract, the franchise's 10th captain. Read more here.

MARCH 13, 2014

Stamkos gets first goal since return

Times files

Stamkos scored his first goal since returning from a broken tibia, a power-play one-timer that gave the Lightning a 5-2 lead and turned out to be the game winner in an eventual 5-4 victory over the Panthers. Stamkos also had an assist, was 6-for-6 on faceoffs and had 20:11 of ice time. Read more here.

MARCH 23, 2015

Stamkos fights Marchand

DIRK SHADD | Times

Stamkos' bout against Boston's Brad Marchand — just the second of his career — not only earned respect from his teammates, but others around the NHL. It was another sign of Stamkos, 25, embracing his captain's role and providing leadership, evolving his game behind his skills as an elite scorer. Read more here.

MAY 29, 2015

Stamkos, Lightning reach Stanley Cup final

DIRK SHADD | Times

Stamkos said he didn't know if this was a perfect game, but it was close. The Lightning held the Rangers to 10 shots through two periods, and Ben Bishop stopped 22 in all as the Lightning defeated the Rangers 2-0 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final to return to the Stanley Cup final for the first time since its only championship, in 2004. "We wanted this so bad," Stamkos said. "And it showed." Read more here.

JANUARY 30, 2016

Stamkos eyes Jagr's stick

DIRK SHADD | Times

Stamkos said there was one priceless prize he hoped to bring home from the NHL All-Star Game in Nashville: a stick signed by future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr, 43, the captain of the Atlantic Division team. Stamkos, who started his collection as a rookie, estimated he had around 50 sticks — "too many to name." Read more here.

APRIL 2, 2016

Stamkos sidelined with blood clot

DIRK SHADD | Times

Stamkos, who had a team-high 36 goals, including seven in his previous nine games, learned he would miss one to three months with a blood clot near his right collarbone. General manager Steve Yzerman said Stamkos had thoracic outlet syndrome, the problem that sidelined backup goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy to begin the season. It's a condition that's rare among hockey players, much less two from the same team. Read more here.

MAY 26, 2016

Stamkos returns for Game 7 of East final

DIRK SHADD | Times

Stamkos made his much-anticipated return for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final. Stamkos hadn't played since March 31, working his way back from April 4 surgery to repair a blood clot in his right collarbone area. He said he didn't feel tentative at all, a minus-1 with two shots in 11:55 of ice time. But the Lightning lost to the Penguins, 2-1, falling one win short of a return trip to the Stanley Cup final. Read more here

Photo timeline: Highlights from Steven Stamkos' career with the Lightning 06/29/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 29, 2016 6:14pm]
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