Stamkos won’t comment on lowball Lightning contract offer

Stamkos won’t comment on lowball Lightning contract offer

There are a lot of reasons I never wanted to be a player agent nor a general manager, but here’s a primary one: an inability to stifle my cynicism, if even for a moment, when an offer arrives from the other side of the table that's apparently born in a land of unicorns, gumdrop rain showers and Zac Efron Oscar wins.

Take, for example, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s offer to star center Steven Stamkos, as reported by Elliotte Friedman over the weekend: eight years and $68 million. “It’s believed that the average salary of that offer is $8.5 million dollars. We’ll see where that takes the negotiation as we head to the trade deadline,” said Friedman.

That’s $1 million more annually than the contract he currently has, which kicked in 2011 when he was 21 and had 119 goals in 243 games. He now has 296 goals in 540 games.

Stamkos was asked about this leak, and he didn’t seem all that pleased about it. From the Tampa Times:

"I'm not going to comment on that," Stamkos said Sunday at the Lightning's family carnival at Amalie Arena. "We haven't talked about that stuff in the media all season long, and I don't know how they get a hold of stuff like that. All the things that we've talked about, it's staying internally, and it'll continue to be that way."

The Lightning have a few advantages in these negotiations. One is that they can offer an eighth year. Another is that they have a strong core of players, and Stamkos knows they can contend for a bit. Another is that Tampa’s been his home for the entirety of his career. And then there's the benefit of no income tax in Tampa, while the Canadian dollar plummets in Toronto.

On the other side of the ledger: The insane money ready to be thrown at Stamkos from several different markets.

Again, I understand negotiations. But it’s absurd to believe Stamkos is taking a cent less than Evgeni Malkin’s $9.5 million, and it’s far-fetched to believe he’ll make less than Anze Kopitar’s $10 million over eight years, and it wouldn’t surprise many of us if Stamkos ended up matching the $10.5 million that Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane make against the cap.

But hey, Sidney took less with Pittsburgh. Anything can happen.

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Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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