When Steven Stamkos signed an 8-year contract extension last summer, two things were certain. First, that Toronto Maple Leafs fans would say that they never really wanted him to sign with their team. Second, that he would one day own all of the offensive records in franchise history. When Stamkos finishes out his new deal, he will have spent 16 years with the organization.
Will economics prevent him from seeing the end of his deal? Possibly. Not only could he be unceremoniously bought out, a work stoppage could take yet more games away from him in his prime. But why waste time worrying about that?
Assuming that the NHL and the NHLPA are able to come together like never before, just when will Steven Stamkos assume his rightful position atop the All-Time Lightning Leaderboards?
Power Play Goals:
Currently second with 111. Leader Vincent Lecavalier 112
If it wasn’t for the injury he would already be the leader. The only thing that makes this questionable is the actual start date of the system. With no World Cup and a possible Olympic break, next season should start early in October.
Date he will break the record: October 9th, 2017
Currently 4th with 586. Leader Vincent Lecavalier 1037
This one will probably take a while simply because 451 games is a lot of games. In fact 5 ½ seasons is the average length of an NHL career. Luckily Stamkos is under contract for 7 more seasons. So he should, in all likelihood, break Lecavalier’s record without a problem. Allowing for a few games missed due to minor injuries and no work stoppages, the cagey 33-year-old veteran will be breaking the record just as Beyonce begins her re-election campaign.
Date he will break the record: March 17th, 2023
Currently 3rd with 321. Leader Vincent Lecavalier 383.
Stamkos could, if fully healthy, knock this one out pretty quickly. A 100% Stamkos with Jonathan Drouin or Vlad Namestnikov feeding him pucks could knock out 62 goals in a hurry. If the league tweaks scoring rules again, along with diluting teams due to expansion, it’s not out of reach for him to score 50 next year. Even if “only” scores 40 next season, that will put the record within reach.
Date he will break the record: December 22nd, 2018
Currently 4th with 261. Leader Martin St. Louis 588.
Despite being a center, dishing the puck has never been Stamkos’ forte. Stamkos is a finisher, not a setter-upper. He’s played over 586 games and isn’t even halfway to St. Louis’ record. If he continues at his current pace of .45 assists per game, it’s going to take him almost 9 years to break the record. That is a testament to how good Marty St. Louis was as a member of the Lightning. There is a chance that, as Stamkos evolves as a player, his scoring shifts from goals to assists, especially if the Lightning keep adding scoring talent around him. But this is the one that will probably elude him.
Date He Breaks the Record: Never
Currently 3rd with 582. Leader Martin St. Louis 953
This is why it pays to be a high draft pick. Stamkos started accumulating points at the age of 18. After his age 27 season, St. Louis had scored a total of 165 points. Granted, in four of the next seven seasons St. Louis picked up 90+ points. The question for Stamkos will be if he can get enough assists to get close to that kind of production.
It’s not unreasonable for him to keep along at a point-per-game pace over the next couple of years. After 30, things might slow down a bit, but with his ability to score and power play time, he should age pretty well. Even in a bad year he should be able to score 60 points in his sleep. He’ll celebrate his 32nd birthday as the all-time leading scorer in Lightning history.
Date He Breaks the Record: January 31st, 2022
This is all fun and conjecture. Stamkos could play for 15 more years, or 15 more minutes [OK take that one back! - Acha]. No matter what happens in the future, it’s been great to see him get to where he is now and imagine what he can be in the future.