Major update on Steven Stamkos future with the Tampa Bay Lightning

Cooper Godin
May 22, 2024  (7:15)

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos.
Photo credit: NHL.com

When the Tampa Bay Lightning exited the ice following their series loss against the Florida Panthers, there was one player who stuck behind to soak it all in and that was captain Steven Stamkos.

At that point, it was unclear what Stamkos' future with the Tampa Bay Lightning looked like and it's still a bit murky. There's no doubt that Steven Stamkos is one of the best players to ever don a Lightning uniform but with another early playoff exit, it left many wondering if the team would decide to go in a different direction.
With Stamkos set to become an unrestricted free agent in just over five weeks, the Lightning need to act quick if they're going to re-sign their all-time leading goal scorer.
After re-acquiring Ryan McDonagh in a trade with the Nashville Predators, Lightning General Manager Julien BriseBois met with reporters and said that contract talks with Steven Stamkos and his camp are "ongoing".
"We still have some cap space," BriseBois said. "Steven Stamkos is not signed yet right? That's ongoing. We're still able in my mind to get something done that makes sense for the organization with Steven even after acquiring Ryan McDonagh. And depending on what happens with other players we'll address other needs. But we still have some cap space to get done what I think we need to get done this offseason."

He added, "I don't think anything changed. Steven was up front saying he wanted to stay. That's his strong preference. I've mentioned that's our strong preference as well. And now we're still working on how we make this happen for it to make sense for both sides."

Given Stamkos' importance to the franchise, it's understandable that they want to bring him back, rather than go in a different direction. However, bringing Ryan McDonagh back, with no salary retained by Nashville, makes things tricky on the cap front. As of right now, the Lightning only have $5.035 million in cap space for the 2024-25 season, so another trade must be on the horizon for Brisebois and his group.
The contract Stamkos will get, whether it's with the Lightning or another team in free agency, could cost a significant sum. Stamkos is showing no signs of slowing down, recording his seventh 40+ goal campaign during the 2023-24 season, so he could be pushing the $8-9 million AAV mark on a shorter term deal.
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Major update on Steven Stamkos future with the Tampa Bay Lightning

Will the Tampa Bay Lightning re-sign Steven Stamkos?

Yes13554.7 %
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