Steven Stamkos‘ camp and the Tampa Bay Lightning aren’t really tipping their hands about their contract talks, so we’ll have to settle for whatever scraps we can get.
On the bright side: we should know where he ends up soon, even if Stamkos needs to mull his decision over beyond July 1.
There’s also the possibility that the Lightning can re-sign Stamkos before he hits the UFA market, however remote that might be.
For what it’s worth, GM Steve Yzerman told the media that “we know where we’re at” and then added this quote.
“Obviously he’s still the property of the Tampa Bay Lightning,” Yzerman said, according to Tampa Bay Times. “Until July 1. Anything is possible. No doors have been closed.”
As the Times notes, it’s probably unfair to read too much into such quotes.
(Waits for you to read too much into such quotes.)
TSN’s Bob McKenzie noted that there might be a little bit of conflict over the notion that the Lightning wanted an idea of Stamkos’ intentions heading into free agency. Stamkos, meanwhile, might want to explore some options first, especially with the window for teams to “interview” potential free agents opening at midnight on Friday.
It’s possible that “we know where we’re at” indicates that Stamkos & Co. might have resolved the Lightning’s qualm, but perhaps not.
Ultimately, you can file Yzerman’s comments under “saying the right things,” and that’s about it.
For anxious Lightning fans, that might not provide much solace. The silver lining is that at least there should be some closure in a matter of a week or two.