No change in contract standoff between Lightning, Stamkos
Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos made headlines prior to the season as expressed his disappointment in the lack of discussions with the team about a new contract.
TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reports that three months later, the Lightning have not changed their outlook on the pending unrestricted free agent as contract talks remain shelved.
"The answer is no, it’s status quo, and I get it. Sometimes with the New Year approaching you wonder if teams will revisit that type of situation," LeBrun said Thursday on Insider Trading. "[General manager] Julien BriseBois was very clear before the season. He’s on record. They’re not going to talk contract with their captain until after the season.
"They were clear about that with Steven Stamkos, and there is no reason to believe that that will change."
Stamkos has 14 goals and 30 points in 28 games this season as he plays out the last of an eight-year, $68 million contract. He had a dominant performance on Thursday night, posting four goals in a 7-4 win over the Edmonton Oilers.
The Lightning currently sit tied with the Carolina Hurricanes for the second wild-card spot with 33 points, though with two more games played.
Tampa Bay reached the Stanley Cup final in three straight years, winning two, before exiting in the first round last year, leading BriseBois to focus on this year's results before committing to his captain.
"Steven and I share a common goal of bringing the Cup back to Tampa — that’s our objective," BriseBois said. “In order for us to do that in future years, we’re going to need to spend our cap dollars as wisely as possible. In order for me to do that, I feel like I need to gather more information."
“I need to see how the pieces of the puzzle fit this year,” he added. "After the season, once I’ve gathered that information, I can work with Steven and his agent on a contract structure that would be in the best interest of both sides.”
Drafted first overall by the Lightning in the 2008 draft, Stamkos is a seven-time all-star, won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy in 2010 and 2012, and was named as a second-team all-star in 2011 and 2012.
Over the course of his career, he has 529 goals and 1,086 points in his 1,031-game career. He is the Lightning’s all-time leader in goals and points, as well as second all-time in games played and assists.