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Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos.
Photo credit: Tampa Bay Times.

2 Canadian teams may have interest in Stamkos if he hits open market

Published May 12, 2024 at 4:45 PM
BY COOPER GODIN
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Steven Stamkos' future with the Tampa Bay Lightning is a bit uncertain at this time. In less than two months, he's set to be without a contract and an unrestricted free agent, but he Tampa Bay Lightning would like to keep their captain around.

If the Lightning and Stamkos decide to go their separate ways and the Markham native hits the open market on July 1st, there certainly won't be a shortage of suitors.

According to Sportsnet, there are four teams who may have interest in the two-time Stanley Cup Champion, two of whom are from Canada. Sportsnet has named the Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators and Toronto Maple Leafs as potential landing spots for Steven Stamkos.

"Detroit, Toronto, Montreal & Nashville could be spots for Stamkos if he hits free agency." PuckEmpire said in a post on Instagram.



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The 34-year-old was emotional a couple of weeks ago as the Lightning were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in five games at the hands of their state rivals, the Florida Panthers. Stamkos was the last Lightning player to leave after the handshake line, appearing to soak up what could have been the last time he stepped onto the ice in a Tampa Bay uniform.


It's hard to imagine Steven Stamkos wearing any other jersey than the Tampa Bay Lightning's, but each of the teams mentioned by Sportsnet gives him a unique opportunity.

Playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs is something many thought Stamkos would do back in 2016, before he eventually re-signed with the Lightning a couple of days before free agency opened. If the Maple Leafs are able to move out money, likely by way of one of the member of the 'Core 4', then Toronto could be a strong fit for Stamkos.

For the Montreal Canadiens, adding a scoring winger is something they desperately need. While Stamkos is older than a player the Canadiens would probably like to add, having him in the lineup playing on Nick Suzuki's wing could give them the 40-goal scorer they've been seeking. His experience and leadership would also be extremely valuable to this young Canadiens roster.

As for the Detroit Red Wings, their young core is looking to take a step forward next season and return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2016. Adding him to a forward group that including Dylan Larkin, Lucas Raymond and potentially Patrick Kane, if he re-signs, would be a big boost to their chances at getting over the hump.

It'll be interesting to see which direction the Tampa Bay Lightning and Steven Stamkos decide to go. With only 51 days until unrestricted free agency opens, both sides have a big decision to make.
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May 12   |   651 answers
2 Canadian teams may have interest in Stamkos if he hits open market

Which team would be the best fit for Steven Stamkos?

Detroit13120.1 %
Montreal10115.5 %
Toronto18528.4 %
None, staying in Tampa Bay is the best option23435.9 %
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