Steven Stamkos is staying home.
Stamkos, after a year’s worth of negotiation, after a mountain of rumors as where he might be going and why, has re-signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Stamkos’ new contract is worth $68 million over eight years.
“I am excited to move forward with the Lightning today for the next eight years,” said Stamkos. “It’s not often that a player gets the chance to spend his career in one organization and I am hopeful that this agreement sets me on that path with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Most importantly, I look forward to working with my teammates, coaches and our management in our goal of winning a Stanley Cup.”
Stamkos had met with the Maple Leafs this week in a meeting that included John Tory, Toronto’s mayor, and Michal B. Medine, the CEO of Canadian Tire. Because it was near his hometown, many felt that Stamkos would lean there or to nearby franchises such as Detroit or Buffalo.
But Stamkos, the captain of the Lightning, never stopped using “we” when discussing the Lightning. He has been here his entire career, and barring a trade, he will be here for the biggest portion of it. He is only 26.
“We are very appreciative of the effort and commitment that Steven and his representatives have exhibited in getting a deal done,” general manager Steve Yzerman said upon making the announcement today. “We are excited to have him as a cornerstone part of the team for the next eight years as we continue in the franchise’s ultimate pursuit of winning another Stanley Cup.”
Since the 2008-2009 season, Stamkos is second in goals to only Alex Ovechkin among active players.