Shocking Turn for Steven Stamkos in Tampa Bay: The Cup-Champion Captain Appears to Be On His Way Out

Published December 11, 2023 at 1:07 PM

The Tampa Bay Lightning's season is not going as planned this year.

Although there is still a lot of hockey to play in the coming months, Jon Cooper's team seems to be a shadow of its former self, with a record of 13-11-5 after 29 games, currently placing the team outside of the playoff positions.

Managing the salary cap has been a major issue for Tampa for several years. While Julien BriseBois does everything to keep his core intact in hopes of remaining a Stanley Cup contender year after year, financial constraints seem to be weighing heavily on performance.

Several free agents will need to be re-signed by the Lightning at the end of the season, including captain Steven Stamkos. He is in the last year of his contract, and negotiations between him and the organization appear to be at a standstill.

The general manager had mentioned earlier in the year that «the season will determine what happens with the captain.» Number 91 had even openly expressed his disappointment at the lack of progress in negotiations for an extension before training camp.

Due to the team's lack of success and Stamkos's new contract, which will certainly require a significant investment from the Lightning for several years, it's very possible that this season could mark the end of the partnership between the two parties.

In the event that Stamkos decides to test the free agent market this summer, with the salary cap increasing by more than 4 million dollars, Kent Hughes could be very interested in making a big move to improve his team.

Even at 34 years old next February, number 91 is still an elite player in the NHL. He has 10 goals and 26 points in as many games this year. He could become a very interesting addition to the Canadiens' top 6, for example, on the left flank of a Kirby Dach.

Moreover, if Hughes decides to trade Sean Monahan and his excellent leadership in the locker room at the next trade deadline, Stamkos could act in the same way with the young core of the Canadiens.

With nearly 18 million dollars available this summer, Kent Hughes has the ammunition to make a big impact. Additionally, Martin St-Louis knows «Stammer» extremely well, having played six seasons together in the past.

After being a contender for his services during his last contract signing in 2016, could the Canadiens finally succeed in acquiring the first overall pick of 2008?

Would you like to see Steven Stamkos arrive in Montreal during the summer season?

December 11   |   120 answers
Shocking Turn for Steven Stamkos in Tampa Bay: The Cup-Champion Captain Appears to Be On His Way Out

Would you like to see Steven Stamkos in Montreal?

Yes6150.8 %
No5949.2 %
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