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“Steven Stamkos holds Martin St-Louis in very, very high regard”
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

There’s been a lot of talk in recent days about Steven Stamkos. The Lightning captain, who saw his team eliminated on Monday night, is set to become a free agent in a few weeks’ time, and there are doubts as to whether the Lightning will retain his services.

We know that every dollar is counted in Tampa Bay, and the fact that Stamkos has yet to sign with just a few weeks to go before the market opens suggests that he’s not guaranteed a return.

Of course, if he were to leave Tampa, we know he’d be the envy of many clubs. That said, the easy link to make is the one between Stamkos and the Habs.

The reason? A certain Martin St-Louis, who is at the helm of the Habs… and who mentored Stamkos during his playing career.

And Stamkos obviously hasn’t forgotten: Eduardo A. Encina, a journalist who covers the Lightning and was on Tony Marinaro’s Sick Podcast, said that Stamkos holds St-Louis in very, very high esteem.

Stamkos hasn’t forgotten all that St-Louis did for him in his NHL debut, and according to Encina, the Lightning captain knows that MSL was one of the reasons he was able to taste greatness in a Lightning uniform.

He taught him how to win, basically.

And as well as respecting St-Louis (and Vincent Lecavalier), Stamkos also has a great deal of respect for NHL history, so playing for one of the original six teams might interest him if he were to leave Tampa Bay.

The question, though, is whether he’ll actually leave Tampa… and more importantly, whether his signing would be counterproductive for the Habs.

We know that the Montreal team is rebuilding, and that sooner or later, young players will be arriving in town. If the Habs were to agree to a three-year deal with Stamkos(as has been rumoured), we have to wonder whether Stamkos wouldn’t end up in the legs of the youngsters who will eventually push for ice time.

On the other hand, having a Stamkos in training could help the club’s youngsters progress. The club would get a second true sniper (with Cole Caufield, who didn’t score as much as we’d hoped last season), and imagining him on a power play shooting on reception while being fed by Lane Hutson isn’t an unpleasant scene either.

We’ll have to wait and see, but it’s clear that if he leaves Tampa, Stamkos will at least consider signing in Montreal.

That doesn’t mean he’d definitely come… but there are links, nonetheless.

In gusto

– Enjoy.

– No suspension for this gesture.

– The Stars, a fine model to follow for drafting and development.

– Seeing him call referee Steve Kozari a “coward” yesterday didn’t go down well.

– Will he finally be the one?

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