It has been the world’s longest negotiation, but things may be coming to a head between the Tampa Bay Lightning and center Steven Stamkos.
Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman told the Tampa Bay Times he hopes to have some clarity on Stamkos by the weekend.
“We’re doing all we can to sign him,” Yzerman said. “What we look like if Stammer re-signs with us, it affects what we can do with our team. For us, we’d like to know sooner than later.
“At some point on other players, I have to make decisions. I’ve got to make decisions and they can’t be put off forever.”
Stamkos is free to start shopping around to other teams on Saturday. He can sign with them on July 1.
“To be honest with you, it’s out of my control,” Yzerman said. “He’s an unrestricted free agent on July 1. I can’t force him to sign a contract with us if he doesn’t want to. If he wants to go to July 1, he has that right.”