Blog Entry

Lightning, Stamkos agree on five-year extension

Posted on: July 19, 2011 3:32 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 4:32 pm

By Brian Stubits

The Tampa Bay Lightning have reached an agreement with superstar center Steven Stamkos on a five-year contract. The team made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon.

"Very exciting day for my family and I," Stamkos said on his Twitter account. "Can't thank Mr. Vinik, Mr. Yzerman and the rest of the organization for making this deal possible. Also want to thank my family, friends, agents, teammates, and fans for all their love and support!"

According to Craig Custance of the Sporting News the deal will pay Stamkos an average annual salary of $7.5 million per season, which comes out to a total of $37.5 million. He'll be eligible for unrestricted free agency when the contract expires after the 2015-16 season.

Said general manager Steve Yzerman in a statement released by the team, "Steven is extremely important to this franchise and is part of the foundation of our hockey team. We are very pleased to have him signed and look forward to seeing him in a Lightning uniform for years to come.”

It brings an end to a long saga that had plenty of twists and turns, most made out of fear since it took so long for a deal to be reached. Although the Flyers did contemplate sending an offer sheet Stamkos' way before ultimately passing.

Of course in Stamkos, the former No. 1 overall draft pick, the Lightning are holding on to the league's top goal-scorer over the past two seasons as the 21-year-old has tallied 96 goals in that time frame. He represents not only the future of the Lightning, but perhaps the NHL. Remember, he was recently bestowed the honor of having his mug grace the cover of the video game NHL '12.

The Lightning were determined to get a deal reached with Stamkos, and Stevie Y never waivered on that, saying his team would match any offer sheet if one did come. Alas, it didn't come to that, instead reaching a deal that seems very fair to the team and Stamkos.

He will receive $8 million in the first four years of the contract and then $5 million in the final season. At that point, under the current CBA at least, he will be free to test to the free-agent waters unrestricted at the ripe age of 26, when he figures to be in the prime of his career. If no extension is signed before that point with Tampa Bay, can you imagine the frenzy for him? It would put the Brad Richards courtship to shame.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: July 20, 2011 1:34 pm

Lightning, Stamkos agree on five-year extension

just another reason why my leafs blow!!Burke is such a loudmouth blowhard, but what has he ever accomplished in T O?He says he will do what it takes to make the leafs better but when he has a chance to do something incredible, he shrivels up and hides like a pussy.If he would've offered those Philly rumored #'s ,i wouldn't of had a problem with that. ( Look at the money he has pissed away over the years. Mike Komisarek anyone??and numerous others0 Sorry Bolts fans for hijacking your post here but at least you guys have something to be excited about.We just signed 4 more journeymen forward s for less than it would have cost to at least try to sign Stamkos

Since: Jun 8, 2009
Posted on: July 20, 2011 12:51 pm

Lightning, Stamkos agree on five-year extension

@ kaos19juice

Well said.

Since: Feb 8, 2009
Posted on: July 20, 2011 12:40 pm

Lightning, Stamkos agree on five-year extension

Unfortunately being a Leafs fan, I loved hearing the ridiculous rumors of the 3 way trade with Tampa and Pittsburgh that would have seen Stamkos a Leaf. I also like many other Leaf fans have to scratch our heads to wonder why Burkie would offer 8-10 million a year for 7yrs, specially after not caring about first round picks for over a decade. Burke may not like offering to restricted free agents, but a local born  superstar at the age of 21 who is playing the position of greatest need on your team doesn't exactly come around that often. It would have been a no risk high reward move, at worst case Tampa after matching would be in financial trouble, now they are financially stable and a way better team then what the Leafs are.
 Burke has a problem with Canadian's, I suppose if Stamkos was an American and 6 foot 3 and less skilled he may have made the offer Leafs fans would have liked to see. The Leafs organization would have made almost the entire cost of the deal back in Jersey sales alone, 5 million jersey's would sell in the first year at $200 and change a pop easily and probably 10 million over the course of the contract, as the Leafs haven't had a superstar of that magnitude maybe ever. Gilmour is the last Leaf I can think of that at least alot of fan love.

On another note, if any of those 3 way trade rumours were legit, The Leafs should just make the deal for Malkin. Oh wait, I don't think Pittsburgh's team is run by Leafs fans, too bad Pittsburgh isn't that stupid.

Since: Aug 25, 2008
Posted on: July 20, 2011 11:39 am

Lightning, Stamkos agree on five-year extension

Every once in a while, a player will take a pay cut to help out his team, and make no mistake, Stamkos' situation is exactly that. When you look at the abundance off inflated contracts that were handed out in the week following the start of the free agency period, Stamkos could've asked for 8.0M to 8.5M a year which the Lightning couldn't have afforded unless some other player was dumped. For this, kudos to Stamkos. Now, the lightning are a good team, but not a great team by any means. Lecavalier needs to get back to his old 90-95 pts per year form in order for this team to be dangerous every night. St-Louis isn't getting any younger and Tampa doesn't have the depth that other East Conference power houses have. Philly, Boston, Washington and Pittsburgh are all loaded with talent and I find it hard to believe that these four teams will be challenged for the top four spots come season end. Tampa Bay will most likely battle Buffalo, Montreal and the Rangers for spots 5 through 8.

In coming back to Stamkos, this is a good contract length for him. He's only 21 years old and he won't even be at his prime when this contract expires. At 26 years of age, is he's lucky enough to have avoided major injuries (unlike Crosby), this kid will land a HUGE contract probably in the range of 9.0 M a year for close to eight years.

Stamkos is probably in the league top 3 forwards and I'm sure he'll make a run for the top spot this year. Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me to see him get 55 goals and 50 assists.

All in all, great signing for him and the team. 

Since: Jul 18, 2007
Posted on: July 20, 2011 11:26 am

Lightning, Stamkos agree on five-year extension

I dig Stevie Y. even as a Pens fan, but let's take it easy on the "Stevie Y. is the second coming of Jesus as a GM" stuff. Stamkos is to be applauded here more than anyone. He could have laughed in Tampa's face at this offer and nobody would have held it against him. He took a deal well below market value to show that he's a team player and trusts Yzerman to build a contender around him with the money he left on the table.

What I'm saying is while Yzerman is doing a great job turning that franchise around, he didn't somehow trick Stamkos and his agent into taking less than they deserved - Stamkos just proved to be the Anti-Kovalchuk.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: July 20, 2011 10:15 am

Lightning, Stamkos agree on five-year extension

wings 69, werent you the guy during a few game blogs, or glogs, whatever there called who GUARANTEED Stamkos wouldnt be re-signed by Tampa?? im pretty sure it was you.....i said i guarantee he was obvious they werent gonna let him go!
if it wasnt you sorry.

I guaranteed Tampa couldn't afford to and wouldn't sign Stamkos to a long term Crosby/Ovie deal because I believed in my heart there was no way less then that would keep him in Tampa.  I thought for sure this would be one time where a RFA would be coveted by another NHL team and that team would force Tampa's hand with a huge offer.   That didn't happen though, I was wrong about that.  Why I was wrong I'll never know though.... A player like Stamkos only comes along once every 10 years.  The guy has over 90 goals in his first 2 seasons and is going to be superstar in the NHL for a very long time.  Did you happen to read the Phili rumour a while back?  They supposedly considered offering Stamkos a 12 year deal for 108 million dollars and a 9 million dollar cap hit.  That's exactly what I thought was going to happen and had that happened, I still don't believe Yzerman could have matched that offer.

Had I known all it would take was 5 years and 7 million or so per year, I would never have predicted Stamkos to leave because obviously Tampa has to keep him at that price.... I honestly didn't believe for one second another team wouldn't step up with a much bigger offer for this kid then what Tampa offered.. 4 first round picks or not, who cares? I'd give up 4 first round picks for that kid in a second.....

My prediction is Stamkos is going to be a consistent 40-50 goals player with 90-100 points, breaking 100 points multiple times the rest of his career... teams that needed him and didn't offer 4 first round picks for him are going to regret it....

Burke in Toronto gave up 2 first round picks and a 2nd round pick for Phil Kessel for God sakes....  Stamkos could drink a case of beer and wake up at 5am and outplay Kessel..... Stamkos is from Markham isn't he?  What's that, 30 minutes from Toronto?  He grew up there, followed the Leafs....  but the Leafs signed Connoly from Buffalo for almost 5 million per season instead?

LOL   Good for Tampa though... and congrats to Stevey Y.... As a life long Wings fan he'll always be my favourite player by far and I wish him nothing but success in his career as a GM in tampa.


Since: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: July 20, 2011 9:21 am

Lightning, Stamkos agree on five-year extension

Best possible deal. Anyone suggesting an 8 or 9 year deal would be better is simply not thinking. There are only a few examples in pro sports where a long term contract has actually paid off and the player produces at the same level for 8,9, or 10 years. Look at Alexi Yashin's deal. The dude hasn't played in the NHL for 4 years and the Islanders still have a 2 million cap hit on him until 2014.

Since: Apr 25, 2008
Posted on: July 20, 2011 9:01 am

Lightning, Stamkos agree on five-year extension

Steve Y has done a great job in Tampa.  Didn't get to see much of Stamkos until the playoffs this year, but the kid can shoot/score and his toughness is there as well, which isn't always the case with "scorers".

Since: Nov 7, 2010
Posted on: July 20, 2011 7:28 am

Lightning, Stamkos agree on five-year extension

after this deal..Kowalchuk deal looks worse..and worse..

Since: Jun 8, 2009
Posted on: July 20, 2011 6:49 am

Lightning, Stamkos agree on five-year extension

Great signing by the Lightning! Reasonable and responsible. As so many others have said - Stevie Y is doing a darn fine job in Tampa. One of the things I most admire about Yzerman is the fact that he doesn't (nor has he ever) put himself ahead of his team. This is a guy that quietly and diligently goes about his business - no matter what the business is. Loved watching him play and have really enjoyed his work thus far with the Lightning.

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