• Contract negotiations will continue into season

    News: Steven Stamkos still doesn't have a contract extension, but his agent, Don Meehan, says his client has no problem negotiating during the season and won't set any deadlines for a new deal.
    Analysis: This is good news for the Bolts, but it won't stop the questions that will dog the center and the team until pen is put to paper.
  • Bolts, Stamkos: Still No Contract Extension

    News: Steven Stamkos has still not signed a contract extension, even though signing him was general manager Steve Yzerman's top priority this summer, and training camp is just eight days away. "I'm not really worried about anything to be honest," said Stamkos, who wants to stay in Tampa.
    Analysis: The deal will be complicated and clearly that takes time. He could warrant a deal similar to the eight-year, $84 million contracts signed by Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, but the cap situation this offseason is dramatically different than when Toews and Kane inked their deals. The cap didn't really go up this offseason (up from $69 million to $71.4 million) and the Canadian dollar has plummeted to a point where it's only worth about 75 cents. Even $1 million will be significant to the Bolts, but a deal isn't impossible. But it could be complicated by where the Bolts want him to play. He wants to play center; the Bolts prefer to put him on the right wing where he skated during the playoffs.
  • Inking Stamkos Extension

    News: Signing Steven Stamkos, who is a free agent after next season, is general manager Steve Yzerman's "No. 1 priority". The team can sign him as early as July 1,
    Analysis: He's in the final year of a five-year, $37.5 million deal and could be looking at a deal like the eight-year, $84 million deals given to the Chicago stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane last summer. Watch for the two sides to come to a deal early in July; otherwise, the situation will become an issue, especially with Canadian media who are already speculating that the Leafs would love to have him return to his hometown.
  • Bolts' Stamkos Gets First Point Of Series

    News: Steven Stamkos was credited with an assist on Alex Killorn's second-period goal in Wednesday's 2-1 Game 4 loss to the Blackhawks.
    Analysis: The helper snapped a five-game scoring drought for Steven Stamkos, who failed to capitalize on a point-blank shot attempt in the final minute that would have sent the game to overtime. The Bolts feature enough scoring on their second and third lines to cover for the occasional Stamkos scoring drought, but against an adversary as tough as the Blackhawks, the team may need their star center to start finding twine if they hope to come out on top in the series.
  • Bolts' Stamkos Scores For Fourth Straight Game

    News: Steven Stamkos scored for the fourth straight game and added an assist in Sunday's Game 5 win over the Rangers.
    Analysis: After recording just three points in seven games against Detroit in the first round, Steven Stamkos has exploded for 14 points in his last 11 games. The 25-year-old has seven points in his last four games and is the first player in Lightning history to score in four straight playoff games. With the Bolts now one win away from advancing onto the Stanley Cup Final, look for Stamkos, who sits second in NHL playoff scoring, to have another big outing in Game 6 Tuesday in Tampa Bay.
  • Bolts' Stamkos Stays Hot In Game 4 Loss

    News: Steven Stamkos stayed hot Friday, scoring for the third straight game in a Game 4 loss to the Rangers.
    Analysis: While it was another strong performance from Steven Stamkos, the Bolts fell 5-1 to the Rangers in the game, bringing their best-of-seven series to a 2-2 tie. The 25-year-old has now scored in five of his last six games and is up to 15 points in the playoffs -- fifth most in the NHL. He's fired four shots on goal in back-to-back outings and is the first Lightning player to score in 3 straight playoff games since Sean Bergenheim did so in 2011. While Stammer had a slow start to the postseason, he's in full throttle now and will play a key part in determining whether Tampa Bay can advance onto the Stanley Cup Final.
  • Stamkos Gets Goal, Assist In Bolts' OT Win

    News: Steven Stamkos notched his fifth goal of the postseason and added an assist in Wednesdays's wild 6-5 OT win over the Rangers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
    Analysis: After a slow start, he's now tied for fourth in postseason scoring with 14 points. He was the best Bolt on the ice again Wednesday, playing a dominant, 200-foot game -- exactly what you want and need from your captain and best player.
  • Bolts' Stamkos Grabs Two Points In Game 2 Win

    News: Steven Stamkos notched a goal and an assist -- both on the power play -- in Monday's Game 2 win over the Rangers.
    Analysis: Steven Stamkos chipped in to a productive Bolts power play that netted three goals on the night, including one the captain put in himself on a re-direct in front of the net. Ever since his slow start in the first round, Stamkos has gotten back to his usually reliable level of productive as he's tallied nine points in the past seven games.
  • Bolts' Stamkos Sparked By Move To Wing

    News: Coach Jon Cooper moved Steven Stamkos to right wing the last two games of the series against the Canadiens and it gave him more time and space to execute. "He elevated his game," said Cooper. "He didn't put his tail between his legs and say, ‘Move me back to center.' He said let's do what is best for the team and it would be hard to say that he wasn't one of our best players tonight [Game 6]."
    Analysis: He now has points in five consecutive games and goals in two straight. He'd gone without a goal in seven games against Detroit. The move allowed him to really use his speed along the wall. It remains to be seen what Cooper does with him against the Rangers, but at minimum, the move appears to have woken up his offensive game and that's good enough for us.
  • Bolts' Stamkos Present At Morning Skate

    News: Steven Stamkos was present at Tuesday's morning skate, Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Bay Tribune reports.
    Analysis: Steven Stamkos and Brian Boyle missed Monday's practice, but both were on the ice Tuesday morning and should be good to go for Game 6. Stamkos has two goals and four assists through the first five games of the series.