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Lightning picks Brett Howden in draft, but talk is about Steven Stamkos

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The Tampa Bay Lightning added forward Brett Howden to their depth Friday night.

Why, then, was all of the discussion about forward Steven Stamkos?

After the Detroit Red Wings traded away center Pavel Datsyuk and his $7.5-million contract to Arizona Friday night, speculation began that the Wings could be trying to make room for Stamkos, who became able to talk to teams at midnight.

If Stamkos goes, it will be difficult for the Bolts to replace him.

Howden, who is 18, is years away from showing he is that kind of player. He does carry the reputation as intelligent and a two-way player. The Lightning have two second-round draft picks today.

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

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