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How much should the Lightning pay its captain, Steven Stamkos?

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He isn’t the NHL’s best player … but he might be the Lightning’s.

He isn’t the highest scoring player you’ll find … but he’s tied for the lead in goals on the Lightning.

So what is Steven Stamkos worth?

According to sportsnet.ca and Elliotte Friedman, the Lightning have offered Stamkos an eight-year $68-million contract. The $8.5 million offer is $1 million more than Stamkos now earns. So far, at least, Stamkos shows little interest in signing the deal.

Stamkos is 14th in the NHL in goals and 35th in points, behind teammate Nikita Kucherov, who is 19th.

Early speculation was that Stamkos would break the $10 million per year figure and perhaps go higher, but with several other players whose contracts are coming up, the team hasn’t gone there.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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