I've said it repeatedly on this site and I'll say it again, but Steven Stamkos is not going anywhere and will almost certainly open 2012 in one of those fancy new blue Tampa Bay Lightning sweaters.â†µ
However, the lack of information coming from the Stamkos camp as well as the agonizingly slow pace of the negotiations have created a media firestorm of speculation, baseless rumor, and misinformation that has sent Bolts fans into a panic-filled frenzy. This story is not going to help that panic level any.â†µ
Philly.com is reporting that the Philadelphia Flyers are very seriously considering putting together an offer sheet to present to Stamkos' agents on Friday if and when becomes a restricted free agent. The rumor on how much? Bolts fans aren't going to like it: 12 years, $115 million dollars. That's a cap hit of $9.5 million a year.â†µ
Can the Lightning match that? Sure. They have the cap room and majority owner Jeff Vinik has reportedly given general manager Steve Yzerman the green light to match any offersheet, but a contract that size would come in as the second largest contract in NHL history behind only Alex Ovechkin's 13-year $124 million dollar deal.â†µ
For one of the games three premier players. its certainly worth it, but for the fans sake, lets hope Stevie Y can pull a rabbit from his hat and get a deal done before Friday because if he doesn't... the panic around here is not going to be pretty.