The Steven Stamkos Sweepstakes has come to a screeching halt before Friday’s free agency frenzy opens. He’s staying with the Tampa Bay Lightning after all.
In a five-minute span where the hockey universe went a little haywire by way of transactions (Taylor Hall to New Jersey Devils LOL and PK Subban to Nashville OMG), TSN’s Bob McKenzie said Stamkos will return to Florida.
Cancel the Stamkos Sweepstakes, he has decided to return to the Tampa Bay Lightning. #TSN— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 29, 2016
Earlier in the day, Steve Simmons had reported that Stamkos had met the Maple Leafs at MLSE headquarters in Toronto on Monday along with the mayor of Toronto and the CEO of Canadian Tire, presumably to talk endorsements.
Although the teams that expressed interested for the Lightning captain spanned from Buffalo, to his hometown Toronto, to Detroit and all the way to Vancouver, it appears many of those teams weren’t even given the chance to make their pitches.
Per @TSNBobMcKenzie report, at least some teams that had interest in Stamkos were not invited to make pitches to him personally.— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) June 29, 2016
Now, the biggest name ever who was on the brink of free agency is staying right where he is. And the numbers that had been reported all along is what he’s expected to sign for.
Stamkos's deal with TB is expected to come in at eight years, with an AAV of $8.5M.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 29, 2016
Welcome back, Stammer! Not that you ever really left. Except that you’re in Toronto. Because it’s the offseason.
Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith has confirmed the news as well. Breathe easy now.
Pack your bags, everyone!
Excited to be back for 8 more years @TBLightning ! Here we go .....— Steven Stamkos (@RealStamkos91) June 29, 2016
This is a no-brainer. Arby's, though?
We thiiiiink we know what this is about. Bit vague.
Excellent news!— Brian Boyle (@BriBrows22) June 29, 2016
Ink has yet to be poured on those papers though.
Language is still being worked out on the Stamkos contract, which is why it's not officially signed/announced. But it is certainly done.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 29, 2016
Jason Garrison only tweets in emoji.
Signed, sealed and delivered!
It’s now official Bolts fans: #TBLightning have re-signed captain Steven Stamkos to an eight-year contract.— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) June 30, 2016
And the numbers are in.
Stamkos contract is bonus-laden. $1M in salary per season, rest in bonuses— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 30, 2016
Stamkos breakdown is $9.5 for first five years, not 10.5. Then: 7.5M, 6.5M, 6.5M. As mentioned previously, $1M/ year salary, rest in bonuses— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 30, 2016