The Tampa Bay Lightning have been the source of much discussion in recent weeks and it looks like that trend will continue.
With free agency looming, the Lightning continue to pursue a new contract with superstar Steven Stamkos. In this week’s edition of “Headlines” on Hockey Night in Canada, Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman noted that the club is believed to have extended an offer to Stamkos.
“Earlier this week we reported that the Lightning had made an offer to Steven Stamkos some time in the last few weeks,” Friedman said. “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.”
The closest comparable pending UFA to Stamkos this season is Anze Kopitar, who just recently signed an eight-year, $80 million extension with the Los Angeles Kings.
Stamkos can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The Lightning have some leverage in any potential negotations in that they are the only team that can offer the 25-year-old sniper an extra year of term if he re-signs.
Stamkos has 20 goals and 37 points in 47 games this season.
The Lightning selected Stamkos first overall in the 2008 NHL Draft.