Everything is happening! Stamkos is staying in Tampa Bay

41 Comments

In one of the craziest days in NHL history, the Tampa Bay Lightning have found a way to retain their captain.

Per TSN, the Steven Stamkos sweepstakes are over — Stamkos has opted not to test free agency and will instead re-sign with the only team he’s ever known.

No word yet on the contract details. Previous reports claimed GM Steve Yzerman had offered Stamkos a deal that paid $8.5 million annually, and the Bolts did have the advantage of being able to sign him to an eight-year deal.

Had Stamkos gone to market, the max length deal he could’ve received was seven years.

Prior to this, the 26-year-old gave indications he would be heading to market on Friday, and become arguably the biggest free agent prize since Zach Parise and Ryan Suter signed matching 13-year, $98-million deals with Minnesota four years ago.

There were believed to be as many as 15 suitors for Stamkos’ services, including his hometown Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings, who cleared Pavel Datsyuk‘s contract off the books at the draft for a presumed run at the former 60-goal scorer.

As mentioned above, this has been a truly insane afternoon. The Stamkos news comes after the Oilers traded Taylor Hall to Edmonton for Adam Larsson, and the Predators traded Shea Weber to Montreal for P.K. Subban.

More to follow…