Steven Stamkos confirmed to be leaving Tampa Bay Lightning

Liam McCormick
June 28, 2024  (11:45)

Steven Stamkos with the Lightning
Photo credit: The Hockey News

Steven Stamkos has played his entire career for the Tampa Bay Lightning since being drafted 1st overall in 2008, but now it's confirmed he will be leaving the team in free agency.

According to a report today from TSN's Pierre LeBrun, Steven Stamkos and his agent have decided to test free agency this offseason. The Lightning captain is coming off an 8 year contract that paid him $8.5M a season, and it seems that the team isn't willing to meet his asking price for his next contract. Lightning GM Julien BriseBois spoke to the media and essentially confirmed reports that the two sides are at a fundamental impasse.
"As we stand here right now, we haven't been able to reach an agreement yet. I don't know if we will be able to reach an agreement but we met with Steven's agent again yesterday and both sides are still interested in getting a deal done but we have not been able to agree to terms that are satisfactory for both sides. I think, at this time, it's probably best if I leave my comments to that for the time being."
- Lightning GM Julien BriseBois

Now 34 years old and having played over 1000 games for the Lightning, it's hard to believe that Stamkos wants to leave the team. Last season Stamkos scored 40 goals and 81 points which should garner him an impressive payday, but perhaps the Lightning aren't prepared to commit that salary to an aging player. Stamkos' projected contract value is $9M for next season, but that could regress quickly with age. Still, teams are reportedly lining up to sign Stamkos on July 1st.
Plenty of playoff contending teams would benefit from adding a veteran elite scorer like Steven Stamkos, and if the Oilers could afford it, he would be a perfect second line fit with Leon Draisaitl. Stamkos seems to have a rapidly evolving situation, so we may see where he lands on the day of free agency.
Source: Pierre LeBrun
Steven Stamkos will be a free agent on July 1
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Steven Stamkos confirmed to be leaving Tampa Bay Lightning

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