New York Islanders Chase for Stamkos Takes a Hit
The chance of superstar free agent Steven Stamkos joining the New York Islanders has taken a big hit, with recent comments stating that he wants to stay in Tampa Bay.
After game seven of the Eastern Conference finals, a game the Tampa Bay Lightning lost 2-1. It was a game in which Steven Stamkos made his return to the lineup after missing 16 games of the Lightnings post-season with a blood clot.
After the game Stamkos was asked point blank if this was his final game in Tampa Bay, a team he’s played for his entire eight-year career. “I certainly hope to be back. We obviously have unfinished business here,” were his comments.
These certainly aren’t earth shattering comments. Tampa has made no indication to the contrary. GM Steve Yzerman was asked the same questions to which he answered: “I’ve said all along we hope to sign Stammer”.
The Lightning will certainly make an attempt to sign Steven Stamkos. In fact, they already have.
Steven Stamkos’ January Contract
Back in January, it was rumored that Stamkos was offered an eight-year, $8.5 million contract by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
If that contract was truly offered to Stamkos by the Lightning, it was quickly rejected by Stamkos and his camp. Just like in salary arbitration this $8.5 million may not have been a serious offer, but may have been simply to get negotiations started.
As much as it would be irresponsible for the New York Islanders to consider the notion of signing Stamkos, so too would it be irresponsible for the Tampa Bay Lightning to not make an effort to extend their former first overall pick and former Rocket Richard Trophy winner.
The comments that Stamkos wants to stay in Tampa put a damper on plans for the Islanders, certainly. But there are benefits to staying in Florida. First and foremost the state has no income tax, the team could offer him an extra year and it’s sunny and beautiful there.
Don’t think that matters to Stamkos? Look at this tweet he put out in March:
Stamkos may not actually go anywhere, or even ever hit free agency, as these comments show. Being out of the post-season now means the lightning can certainly spend some time concentrating solely on that issue.
Next: Meet the New Isles Owners
What does this mean for the New York Islanders? It certainly doesn’t mean the we need to panic as a fan base. But it really should remind us what we’re up against: beautiful weather, more money and a home base.