1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Lightning

Steven Stamkos sets Lightning record for career goals

The captain scored his 384th career goal as Tampa Bay clinched its first Presidents’ Trophy.
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (91) waves to the fans after breaking Vinny Lecavalier's franchise mark for career goals during the first period of Monday's game at Amalie Arena. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published Mar. 19
Updated Mar. 19

TAMPA— Steven Stamkos wouldn’t call himself an emotional guy, but he got emotional Monday night.

It wasn’t necessarily that he broke the Lightning franchise goal record that made Stamkos emotional. It was the emotion shared with the fans in the crowd.

He scored goal No. 384 to pass Vinny Lecavalier. Not only did his new Lightning franchise goal record earn a standing ovation, but that applause continued even once play resumed.

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (91) beats Arizona Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper (35) during the first period for his franchise-record 384th career goal. [DIRK SHADD | Times]

That was when it hit Stamkos.

“You’re just not prepared for moments like this,” Stamkos said after the 4-1 win over Arizona. “There are only two goals that have made me feel like this. That was the 60th in Winnipeg and this one here tonight. To do it at home, if I could have drawn it up, that’s the way I would have liked it to happen.”

The other piece Stamkos wanted was to break the record in a win. The captain did better than that.

Because there’s always more in this historic season, he broke the record as the Lightning clinched the first Presidents’ Trophy (for the most points in the league) in franchise history.

Victor Hedman has been with Stamkos 10 of Stamkos’ 11 seasons. He tried to think how many goals that means he’s seen. Out of 384, maybe 360 he ball-parked.

“The guys that are No. 2 and 3 on that list are in the rafters so you know that’s where he’s heading,” Hedman said referring to Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis respectively.

Both Lecavalier and St. Louis knew this day was coming. Lecavalier saw it from the first one-timer he ever saw Stamkos take in practice. He knew his record was going to fall then.

“Steven is the best goal-scorer in Lightning history and now he has the record to prove it,” Lecavalier said in a statement provided by the team. “How he’s gotten to 384 - all the adversity, scoring from all over the ice - and still managing to set the record in a relatively small number of games is remarkable and further establishes Stammer as one of the top goal-scorers in the history of the game. It’s an honor to call him a friend and a teammate.”

St. Louis is proud to have been a part of some of Stamkos’ early goals. He said he enjoys watching “him do his thing” and knows there are many more goals to come.

Someone else from Stamkos’ past was in the building, too.

Up Next: at Capitals, 7:30 p.m., Capital One Arena | TV/Radio: NBCSN; AM-970

Arizona coach Rick Tocchet knows exactly what Stamkos means to the franchise; he coaches Stamkos in his first year with the Lightning. The opposing coach doesn’t usually recognize a goal, but Tocchet gave Stamkos a thumbs up as he skated by.

“Did I know he’d break the record? Yeah, if you had asked me back then, I would have said yes,” Tocchet said before the game. "With his shot and hands? When he had those injuries, you’re concerned. But his level of play is still the same. Great kid. His teammates love him. He’s still great in the community. He’s just a complete guy.”

Stamkos appreciated that nod from Tocchet and that he was there to share in the moment, even if it was from the other bench.

Photos: Lightning Steven Stamkos scores and sets record

Like Lecavalier, coach Jon Cooper and general manager Julien BriseBois referenced how quickly Stamkos reached this mark. He’s scored an average of 0.52 goals a game over 11 years. It took Lecavalier 14 years to reach 383.

“Steven Stamkos was a guy that by his 29th birthday, would he think he would be the leading scorer of the franchise?” Cooper said. “That’s an unbelievable accomplishment for him to say that, well, until another Steven Stamkos comes along. Those are the few and far between.”

BriseBois recognized Stamkos as the established face of the franchise since he joined the Lightning at age 18.

“The speed at which he was able to take over the franchise’s career goals record is fitting and speaks to how incredible a goal scorer he is,” he said. “He just turned 29! He might only be halfway through what is already an illustrious career. The fact that he has scored 30+ goals again this year (and counting) while playing what I think is his best all around hockey is an important reason why our team was able to win the Presidents’ Trophy this season.”

Then there’s Stamkos’ dad. Stamkos credited his parents with making sacrifices to get him to this point. He calls his dad after most games still (and said he’d be the first call when he got to his phone on Monday).

“Breaking the record of one of the franchise’s greatest players demonstrates Steven’s dedication to the Tampa Bay organization and its continued success,” Chris said. “He has had the privilege of playing with some great players in Vinny, Marty, Heddy and Kuch along with many others who have helped him achieve this special accomplishment.”

Stamkos ran into Lecavalier at dinner Sunday night. He said maybe that was an omen.

Either way, it couldn’t have worked out better for Stamkos to set a franchise record on a night he helped the organization for another first in this historic season.

More Lightning: What's your favorite Steven Stamkos goal? Here are some of his

More Lightning: Steven Stamkos goal record will be a signpost along a greater journey

More Lightning: Vinny Lecavalier knew his goal record wouldn't survive Steven Stamkos


  1. Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta (44) confers with forward Alex Barre-Boulet (60) before a face-off during the first period of the preseason game on Tuesday against Carolina. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Carter Verhaeghe scores twice in an OT loss to the Predators; Tampa Bay also trims its training camp roster by 14.
  2. The Lightning assigned Louis Domingue to the AHL on Saturday. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The team has a logjam at goalie and Domingue is the odd man out, even after revitalizing his career.
  3. Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Alexander Volkov (79) before an NHL preseason hockey game against the Nashville Predators Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP
    The 22-year-old forward prospect sends the Lightning to a 3-1 win over the Predators.
  4. Victor Hedman will play in the Lightning's preseason game against Nashville. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov and other NHL regulars will play against Nashville
  5. The Lightning put goalie Louis Domingue on waivers Friday. SHADD, DIRK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Tampa Bay plans to send both goalies to the AHL if they clear waivers
  6. Former Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi announced his retirement on Friday. SHADD, DIRK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The 35-year-old played 13 seasons total, making the playoffs 12 of those.
  7. Tim Tebow. [Associated Press)] Associated Press
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Tom Jones and Rick Stroud debate Tebow, Dickie V, the first-place Bucs and the Rays playoff chase
  8. Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) waits his turn during drills on the first day on the ice at the beginning of training camp at the Ice Sports Forum. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Tampa Bay doesn’t have many roster spots available, but the positions within the lineup are still taking shape.
  9. Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jimmy Huntington (47) takes a bite out of his stick blade while taking with goaltending coach Frantz Jean on the first day on the ice at the beginning of training camp. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Tampa Bay has had success with undrafted players like Tyler Johnson and Alex Barre-Boulet.
  10. Tampa Bay Lightning's Cory Conacher (89) looks to pass the puck with Carolina Hurricanes' Clark Bishop (64) reaching in during the first period of an NHL preseason hockey game, in Raleigh, N.C, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. KARL B DEBLAKER  |  AP
    Tampa Bay falls into the same penalty trap as first game: way too many. Preseason isn’t off to an ideal start.