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Stamkos agrees to five-year, $37.5M contract with Lightning

TSN.ca Staff

7/20/2011 3:19:30 AM

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced Tuesday that the club has agreed to a five-year contract with restricted free agent Steven Stamkos.

The 21-year-old will earn $37.5 million over the course of the deal.

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

Stamkos will earn $4 million in the first year with a $4 million signing bonus, $5 million in the second year with a $3 million bonus, $8 million in years three and four and $5.5 million in the final year, averaging $7.5 million a season.

"I am excited we were able to reach an agreement today," Stamkos said. "This was obviously very important to me and I appreciate Mr. Vinik and Steve Yzerman for all their work in the transformation of the franchise as we move forward. There is no place I'd rather be than as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning."

Stamkos has played in all 164 games during the previous two seasons, leading the NHL with 96 goals. 

He has also recorded 186 points and 41 power play goals while averaging more than 20 minutes of ice time per game during that span.  Last season he registered 45 goals and 91 points with 17 power-play goals.  Stamkos ranked second in the league for goals, power-play goals, third for road goals with 24, fifth for home goals with 21 and was fifth for points.  He was the fastest player in Lightning history to reach 40 goals in a season, doing so in just 54 games.

Stamkos also set a franchise mark for game-winning goals in a season with eight.  The Lightning were 26-6-3 last season when he scored a goal and were 8-0-0 when he score more than one.  Stamkos was honored by the league at the conclusion of the season, being named to the 2011 NHL Second All-Star Team.

A native of Markham, Ontario, Stamkos made his playoff debut in 2011, playing in all 18 games as the Lightning fell one game short of the Stanley Cup Final.

He recorded six goals and 13 points in those games while averaging 19:43 in ice time. 

Stamkos notched three three-point games during the postseason, twice during the Eastern Conference Finals against Boston and another in Game 5 of the quarterfinals against Pittsburgh.