Nervous Lightning fans will find a lot to like in Stamkos’ comments to the Tampa Bay Times on Saturday.
“Like I’ve always said, I envision myself winning a championship here and want to do that,” Stamkos said. “Obviously we got close last year, and I’m the captain of this team and I want to be that leader.”
Beyond that, Stamkos shot down a lot of speculation, including murmurs that he doesn’t get along with Lightning head coach Jon Cooper (especially relevant since Cooper recently signed a contract extension).
This quote probably summarizes his response to various reports:
“I think obviously the people who know me and are close to the situation know what’s true and what’s not true.”
Of course, Stamkos also admits that a lot of things can happen between now and then – then being when he signs a new contract – so all that really matters is when his name is finally on the dotted line.
In other words, the speculation isn’t likely to stop, but at least Lightning fans can regain a little hope following another distracting Stamkos circus.
Three ring Stamkos circus