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By Frank Seravalli

TSN Senior Hockey Reporter


Not every number thrown at Steven Stamkos this week can be taken at face value.


Sure, an $80 million offer may look like more than one for $68 million on paper, but the real number the Stamkos camp will be monitoring this week when talking dollars is take-home pay.


Tampa Bay is not believed to have moved beyond the eight-year, $68 million offer that was reported in January. That is the figure the Lightning reportedly project will allow them to re-sign the bulk of their upcoming free agents, which would surround Stamkos with some of the best talent in the Eastern Conference.


Turns out, it is very competitive. Thanks to no state income tax in Florida and Tampa Bay’s exclusive ability to offer an additional eighth year, the Lightning still may be able to put together one of the best total financial packages without moving off that offer.


What would it take to beat Tampa Bay’s offer of eight years at $8.5 million?


Use TSN’s new Stamkos Contract Calculator to find out. 


Plug in a new average annual value (AAV) in millions for Stamkos to learn the amount one of the seven leading suitors would need to spend to top Tampa Bay’s current offer.


Stamkos, 26, could choose to leave Tampa Bay starting on Friday for a variety of reasons, but the bidding would likely need to begin at $11.5 million annually over seven years to gain a financial edge elsewhere.


Time is of the essence. Tampa Bay's unique ability to offer eight years expires at 12:01 a.m. on Friday.


Note: An NHL-NHLPA escrow withholding percentage and agent fees have not been included for the purposes of this calculator. They will be standard in any market. To help with the tax implications from one of the other 22 markets not listed, a league-wide NHL average has been presented.


Special thanks to the Gavin Management Group, a leading financial advisor to NHL players, for the tax data. Also, thank you to J.J. and Ben Glissman from SB Nation’s Winging It In Motown site for the idea and coding assistance.