Advertisement
  1. Lightning

Sign and trade also makes sense for Lightning, Steven Stamkos

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) crosses the crease guarded by Montreal Canadiens goalie Mike Condon (39) as he surges for the puck during first period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Thursday evening (03/31/16).
Published Jun. 29, 2016

TAMPA — The Steven Stamkos Sweepstakes could be over before Friday's noon opening of unrestricted free agency, whether he re-signs with the Lightning or not.

There might be motivation, from both Tampa Bay and Stamkos, to orchestrate a sign-and-trade deal if it becomes clear the captain isn't returning to the Lightning.

For Stamkos, 26, it's the only way he'd get an eighth year on a contract from another team. Until Friday, Tampa Bay is the only team that can offer Stamkos an eight-year deal. After that, the most years any team can give him is seven. For Tampa Bay, signing then trading Stamkos is a way to get an asset as opposed to losing a generational scorer and face of the franchise for nothing.

General manager Steve Yzerman said Tuesday there was nothing new to report on the Stamkos front. He was asked at last weekend's NHL draft if he'd consider a sign and trade if he knew the All-Star center was gone.

"Never given it a thought so maybe I should think about it," Yzerman said. "It's an interesting idea. … Well, losing him for nothing or losing him for an asset? I'd love to get an asset for him."

It's uncertain what asset(s) the Lightning could get in return, but it could be in the form of a draft pick or prospect or a combination. Maybe it'd be more. If a team is trying to secure Stamkos over other bidders, sweetening the pot makes sense. Plus that team can lower the player's eventual cap hit by spreading his contract over eight years, as opposed to seven.

Stamkos' camp at Newport Sports in Ontario has talked with other teams during this five-day interview window. Plenty are reportedly interested, from the Maple Leafs to the Sabres and Red Wings, to potentially the Canadiens and Canucks, along with probably a few wild cards no one is talking about.

It's smart business for Stamkos, who has said he wants to stay in Tampa Bay, to at least see what else is out there, considering he will sign the largest contract of his career. The Lightning is believed to have offered Stamkos an extension with an annual average of $8.5 million; he made $7.5 million last season.

While other teams and Stamkos' camp are not supposed to talk contract, only "parameters" of a deal, in this interview window, it's not out of the realm of possibility for a sign-and-trade deal to be worked out. Stamkos, with a full no-move clause, would have to give permission, holding the cards to go to the team of his choosing.

There's still, obviously, the chance Stamkos re-signs with the Lightning. But either way, it'd make sense — for both sides — if it's decided before Friday.

MINOR MATTERS: The Lightning added to its depth Tuesday by re-signing forward Tye McGinn and defenseman Matt Taormina to one-year, two-way deals.

Contact Joe Smith at joesmith@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_JSmith.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning's Pat Maroon (14) is unable to score past St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington and Mackenzie MacEachern (28) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, in St. Louis. JEFF ROBERSON  |  AP
    Maroon helped the Blues win the Stanley Cup last season. On Tuesday night in St. Louis, they took what is usually a private ceremony and went public for a hometown hero.
  2. New Jersey Devils' Nico Hischier, right, (13) defends Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos (91) during the second period of a game Oct. 30 in Newark, N.J. FRANK FRANKLIN II  |  AP
    Stamkos has not missed a game since April 2017.
  3. Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak (81) before an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP
    Tampa Bay’s second-year defenseman is primed to take on an even bigger role.
  4. Long faces dominate some of the remaining Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans during the fourth quarter of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, November 17, 2019, in Tampa. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: What remaining game will Tampa Bay be favored to win?
  5. The Lightning hosted 5,000 middle school students at Friday's practice. Courtesy of Everfi
    Slap Shots: Plus, thoughts on the Hockey Hall of Fame, a scary moment in Calgary and Military Appreciation Night.
  6. Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) celebrates with the bench after his goal against the Winnipeg Jets during the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP
    Victor Hedman calls the milestone “an unreal accomplishment by an unreal player.”
  7. Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Pat Maroon (14) is taken down by Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dmitry Kulikov (7) as he tries to wrap the puck past goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (37) during the second period Saturday in Tampa. CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP
    They lose to the Winnipeg Jets after a power-play goal scored due to a failed challenge.
  8. Tampa Bay Lightning center Alex Killorn (17) celebrates his second goal of the game during the second period of Tampa Bay's 9-3 victory over the New York Rangers Thursday at Amalie Arena. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Alex Killorn’s decision to just skate away Thursday night is part of a positive trend in Tampa Bay.
  9. Jameis Winston (3) points to fans after the Bucs' 2017 victory over the New Orleans Saints. Tampa Bay Times
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Previewing Bucs-Saints, justice for the Astros, answers for the Lightning.
  10. Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Luke Schenn (2) celebrates his goal, the first of the game, along with right wing Nikita Kucherov (86), defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) and center Tyler Johnson (9) beating New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) during first period action at Amalie Arena on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 in Tampa. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Lightning 9, Rangers 3: Tampa Bay posts its highest-scoring game of the last two seasons.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement