Tag: Steven Stamkos

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Four

Report: Lightning ‘would prefer’ Stamkos to play wing


From Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, reporting on the contract talks between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Steven Stamkos:

Stamkos prefers to play center, which creates a top-six logjam with Valtteri Filppula and triplet Tyler Johnson. It sounds like the Lightning would prefer Stamkos to play on the wing to ease that issue. From what I’ve been told, the discussions were professional, but both organization and player remain searching for common ground.

This same issue came up during last year’s playoffs, when Stamkos was shifted to the wing “to free him up a little bit, and let him get out of the zone a little faster,” according to coach Jon Cooper.

The center position is generally considered a tougher position to play, given the additional responsibility in the defensive zone. Partly for that reason, it’s wingers that tend to make up the majority of the NHL’s goal-scoring leaders. Alex Ovechkin. Rick Nash. Phil Kessel. Vladimir Tarasenko. Max Pacioretty. Corey Perry. Jarome Iginla. All wingers.

While nobody’s saying that this is an issue that will keep Stamkos from re-signing with the Lightning, it’s one to keep in mind as the offseason comes to an end.

Related: Stamkos extension ‘No. 1 priority’ this offseason, says Yzerman

Happy now? Kessel dropped 13 lbs. this summer

Phil Kessel

It remains to be seen if Phil Kessel can silence his critics with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but he’s doing his part to put work ethic murmurs to bed.

Despite making scores of defensemen look foolish (and sometimes winded) with his immensely underrated foot-speed, people have railed on the sniper for “not looking like an athlete.” Maybe that will remain the case, but he’s dropped 13 lbs. this summer, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

Dreger notes that Kessel lost the weight after going through Gary Roberts’ vaunted off-season plan, which drew rave reviews from players such as Steven Stamkos over the years.

So, with that, where are we at on the list of Kessel beefs? (Sifts through “doesn’t play defense” and “is bad with the media.”)

Then again, there’s always the Kyle Wellwood corollary: what if he’s better off with a little extra beef?

Tyler Johnson should be ready for Lightning training camp

Tyler Johnson

The injury news isn’t all bad for the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday.

While it’s disappointing to hear that rising goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy will be sidelined for two-to-three months, breakthrough star forward Tyler Johnson seems to be healing up quite well.

In fact, GM Steve Yzerman told the Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith that Johnson will be “ready to go” for training camp after suffering from a broken right wrist during the 2015 playoffs.

The 25-year-old topped all Lightning scorers with 72 points in 77 regular season games and maintained that momentum through the postseason.

It did seem like his game slowed a bit during the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, and many believe that wrist injury explains the drop-off. With Steven Stamkos’ contract situation in flux, the Lightning will lean on Johnson quite a bit in 2015-16, so this update is a nice boost for the Bolts.

Lightning training camp begins on Sept. 17, so we’ll see if there are any setbacks for Johnson or other players.

More on Tyler Johnson: He’s under pressure.

Crosby, Toews, Weber, Price lead pack in NHL 16’s ratings

2014 NHL Stadium Series - Pittsburgh Penguins v Chicago Blackhawks

After unveiling the top 10 goaltenders for the upcoming video game NHL 16, EA Sports has done the same for every other position.

As was the case last season, Sidney Crosby has the highest overall rating at 96, but there are some alterations after that. In 2015, Steven Stamkos ranked second overall with a 93 rating and he kept that rating for 2015-16, but he’s been leapfrogged by Jonathan Toews (94), Shea Weber (94), and Carey Price (94).

Pavel Datsyuk (93) and John Tavares (92) round out the top-five among centers. Both Detroit and Pittsburgh have two players in the top-10 with Henrik Zetterberg (92) and Evgeni Malkin (92) securing eighth and sixth place respectively.

As previously established, Weber leads the pack among defensemen and is followed by Duncan Keith (93), Drew Doughty (93), Ryan Suter (93), and Erik Karlsson (91). Nashville is the only team with two defensemen in the top-10 as Roman Josi (90) ranks ninth.

When it comes to right wingers, Corey Perry (92) got the top position, although he’s closely followed by Patrick Kane (92). Vladimir Tarasenko (91), Jakub Voracek (90), and Marian Hossa (90) make up the remainder of the top-five. Phil Kessel, who was traded from Toronto to Pittsburgh over the summer, saw his rating slip from 90 in 2014-15 to 89 following a rough campaign with the Maple Leafs.

When it comes to left wingers, it won’t surprise many to learn that Alex Ovechkin secured the top rating at 93. He’s followed by Jamie Benn (92), Taylor Hall (90), Zach Parise (90), and Max Pacioretty (89). The Dallas Stars’ acquisition of Patrick Sharp means that they now have two players in the top-10 as Sharp took the final place on that list with his 89 rating.

NHL 16 will be out on Sept. 15 in North America and Sept. 17 in Europe. If you want to see each position’s top-10 list, you can view them here.

PHT Morning Skate: Stamkos hits the field with the Blue Jays


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Prior to a recent Blue Jays’ game, Ontario native Steven Stamkos took the field at the Rogers Centre to take part in batting practice and fielding drills. (Sportsnet)

Mike Sullivan is excited to be back behind the bench coaching with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. (Boston Globe)

Former Nashville Predators prospect, Ryan Thang, has been caught in an Asia League Ice Hockey money standoff. (Sportsnet)

Montreal Canadiens legend Henri Richard is battling Alzheimer’s disease, according to a report. (The Hockey News)

Tyler Seguin used the power of Twitter over the weekend to have a fan deliver him a burger. (Bar Down)

Photo courtesy of @RealStamkos91