The Lightning and captain Steven Stamkos haven't begun negotiations for a contract extension, agent Don Meehan said Wednesday.
But that shouldn't be a cause for concern. It's mostly a reflection of how Tampa Bay's season didn't end until mid June with a loss to the Blackhawks in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final.
"For the moment, simply an issue of timing," Meehan said.
Stamkos has one year remaining on his current deal, with a $7.5 million salary cap hit next season. General manager Steve Yzerman said re-signing Stamkos was his "No. 1 priority" this offseason. Stamkos could sign an extension starting July 1.
Stamkos is expected to warrant a deal in the range of the eight-year, $84 million extensions Blackhawks stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane signed last summer. That the Blues inked star forward Vladimir Tarasenko to an eight-year, $60 million deal this week likely means Stamkos' price isn't coming down.
Stamkos didn't return home to Toronto until late June, and Meehan has said he wouldn't start talks with Tampa Bay until he sat down with the star center, the league's second-leading goal scorer last season (43 goals).
Stamkos has said he's not "losing any sleep" over a new deal, though hoped to get one done before the season so it's not a "distraction."
ICE CHIPS: Forward Philippe Paradis was re-signed to a one-year, two-way contract. Paradis, 24, played in 34 games with the AHL Syracuse last season, posting eight goals and 15 points. Paradis missed the final three months of the season due to injury.