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Stamkos gets emotional during final game with Tampa Bay Lightning


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Liam McCormick
April 29, 2024  (8:33 PM)
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Steven Stamkos on the bench.
Photo credit: NHL on ESPN

Steven Stamkos was drafted first overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning, and has gone on to play 16 full seasons and over 1000 games with the franchise, also delivering two Stanley Cups. As the Lightning were eliminated by the Panthers tonight, Stamkos got emotional in what was likely his final game with Tampa.

For the first time in his career, Stamkos is heading into the offseason as a free agent - and it seems like the Lightning are ready to move off of their veteran captain. Throughout the season, both parties showed little interest of progress in a contract extension. Still just 34 years old though, Stamkos has more hockey left in him, and will seek a contract elsewhere.
There's still a chance that the Lightning find a common ground with Stamkos to bring back their franchise cornerstone. However, given how tense the relationship between the player and the team was at times this year, in addition to this playoff failure, it looks more probable there will be a split.
In free agency, the 555 goal scorer Stamkos will be a highly sought after player. There's been reports that Utah will be very aggressive in free agency to boost their current roster in their first year, and signing Steven Stamkos could really help their offence as well as be a beacon for the franchise. If Stamkos is most set on securing another contract with a little term and money, he will certainly have enough suitors to sign him.
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Stamkos gets emotional during final game with Tampa Bay Lightning

Where does Steven Stamkos sign next season?

Tampa Bay Lightning6040.8 %
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