Tampa Bay Lightning GM provides update on Stamkos future

May 22, 2024  (7:34)

Steven Stamkos
Photo credit: NHL

Captain Steven Stamkos was the one who stayed behind to take it all in as the Tampa Bay Lightning left the ice after losing to the Florida Panthers in their series.

It was unknown at the time what Stamkos' future with the Tampa Bay Lightning held, and it remains somewhat questionable now. Undoubtedly, Steven Stamkos stands as one of the greatest players to have ever worn a Lightning uniform, but after the team's second early playoff exit, many speculated that the franchise would choose to take a different turn.
In less than five weeks, Stamkos will become an unrestricted free agent, thus the Lightning must move quickly to re-sign their all-time top goal scorer.
During a press conference, Lightning General Manager Julien BriseBois stated that negotiations for a contract with Steven Stamkos and his team are "ongoing" following the team's transfer of Ryan McDonagh back to them.
"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 logical that they want to bring him back, rather than go in a another way. On the cap front, though, things get complicated with Ryan McDonagh's return because Nashville is not keeping his salary. Since the Lightning's cap space for the 2024–25 season is currently limited to $5.035 million, Brisebois and his team will almost certainly need to make another deal.
Whether Stamkos signs with the Lightning or a different team in free agency, the contract he receives might be very expensive. With his sixth season of 40 goals or more in 2023–24, Stamkos is not slowing down and may be approaching the $8–9 million AAV threshold on a shorter-term contract.
MAY 22   |   203 ANSWERS
Tampa Bay Lightning GM provides update on Stamkos future

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