Just End the Stamkos Drama

Posted: July 12, 2011 by Realdeal in Free Agency, Los Angeles Kings, Tampa Bay Lightning
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Enough with it. End the drama.

Is there a chance Stamkos doesn’t play for the Lightning next year? Surely, but it’s pretty small.  GM Steve Yzerman is trying to do everything in his power to keep Stamkos in Tampa.  Stamkos is the team’s biggest marketing tool, and the future of the franchise.  Trading (or letting Stamkos go) would be Stevie Y’s last resort, but there’s no rush at the moment.

Are teams like the Flyers, Maple Leafs, among other teams,  interested in adding Stamkos? Of course.  He’s one of the best players in the league, everyone’s going to have interest.  How much interest and whether they are willing to part with some pieces is a different story.

A lot of these types of rumors are started because the NHL offseason has hit a dead spot.  Everyone’s bored.  Fans are playing NHL11 and seeing how different players look in different uniforms.  Media members have written stories about “no new news” with the Stamkos negotiations and then fans begin speculating (despite the insistence of “no new news”).  Rumors start, such as that Stamkos “doesn’t want to play in Tampa”, even though no credible reports have said this.  Also, it has been denied over and over.  Yet the rumors persist.

So what do Lightning fans think?  I asked Michele, a Lightning season ticket holder, if she was worried about Stamkos not playing with the Lightning this season. Yzerman was at development camp today, and she joked that “must mean he’s given up hope signing Stamkos.”  She’s obviously not worried.  The rumors bug her, but she doesn’t know if the rumormongers or their believers are worse in terms of spreading the rumors.  She also brought up a good point about Bobby Ryan, remembering that last year the three time 30 goal scorer went unsigned until mid-September with the Ducks, and his trade rumor circus was nowhere near as big as Stamkos’.

The Kings’ Drew Doughty is in the same boat as Stamkos.  They went 1-2 in the 2008 draft and Doughty is also a Restricted Free Agent.   Doughty reportedly wants to be the highest paid King, who already have Anze Kopitar with a cap hit of $6.8 million.  That would be a lot of money for 21 year old, but one who has already been a Norris Trophy candidate.  But rarely do you hear a peep about the Kings’ defenseman being traded or given offer sheet by another team.

So, media and fans, stop the nonsense.  Steve Yzerman, Steven Stamkos, please end this mess.

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