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Lightning GM BriseBois: 'Stamkos is not getting traded'

Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning Steven Stamkos - The Canadian Press

Pending unrestricted free agent Steven Stamkos will not be on the move ahead of the March 8 trade deadline.

Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois, who shelved extension talks with the team's captain until after the season, put any end to any trade speculation Tuesday. 

"The one thing I would say just to get it out there because I know as we get closer to the deadline, it’s a popular and interesting and frequent topic. ’Who’s going to get traded? Who won’t get traded?’ Steven Stamkos isn’t getting traded," BriseBois told reporters. "You can all write that. Steven Stamkos is not getting traded, so we can put that one to bed if anyone was speculating on that.

"That’s not going to change between now and the deadline under any circumstances."

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 reported in December that 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 on Dec. 14. "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 18 goals and 41 points in 41 games this season as he plays out the last of an eight-year, $68 million contract. 

The Lightning, who have missed the playoffs just once since 2013, currently occupy the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Tampa Bay is one point ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have two games in hand, and the New York Islanders, who have one game in hand. Tampa Bay has also played three more games than the New Jersey Devils, who are two points back, and the Washington Capitals remain in striking distance - three points back with three games in hand.

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 prior to the season. “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 533 goals and 1,097 points in 1,044 games. He is the Lightning’s all-time leader in goals and points and games played.