Could Tampa Bay Lightning superstar Steven Stamkos be headed to Philadelphia?
Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning have been trying to iron out a contract extension since the end of the 2010-11 season. They have yet to agree to terms, and an agreement isn’t likely to occur anytime soon. A few days ago, acquiring Stamkos seemed like a pipe dream. However, if July 1st comes before the Lightning and Stamkos agree to a contract extension, things could get very, very interesting.
On July 1st, teams can sign Stamkos to an offer-sheet. Tampa Bay would then have two choices, either match the offer-sheet to keep Stamkos, or accept 4 1st round picks as compensation for the young superstar. According to the Philadelphia Daily News’ Frank Seravalli, a few teams including the Flyers would extend an offer sheet to Stamkos. That could be bad news for the Lightning, especially if a team blows Stamkos away with an offer they simply can’t afford to match. As Seravalli mentions, the Lightning already have the expensive long-term contracts of Vincent Lecavalier and Ryan Malone, adding a third could prove difficult for Tampa Bay.
It’s still a long shot, though if July 1st comes without a deal between Stamkos and the Lightning, you can be sure the Flyers will get involved.