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Steven Stamkos file: Julien BriseBois says McDonagh deal changes nothing
Credit: Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images
The Steven Stamkos issue is probably one of the most talked-about in the National Hockey League this summer.

As everyone knows, the Tampa Bay Lightning captain is currently out of contract for next season, the 2024-2025 campaign, and could therefore become a free agent on July 1ᵉʳ.

If Stamkos and the Lightning don’t come to an agreement by then, Stamkos will be free to sign with the team of his choice.

Obviously, Stamkos’ first choice would be to re-sign with Tampa Bay, where he has spent his entire career to date.

Both parties want to come to an agreement, but Stamkos deserves to be paid what he’s worth, and the Lightning may not be able to do that.

With only just over $5 million ($5,035,000 to be precise) available under the salary cap after the acquisition of Ryan McDonagh earlier this morning, the Lightning may find it difficult to re-sign Stamkos.

However, Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois remains confident, stating that discussions are continuing with Stamkos.

Indeed, BriseBois continues to believe that it will be possible to find common ground that will benefit both parties.

The Lightning GM says that nothing has changed with the Ryan McDonagh deal, and that the priority remains getting Steven Stamkos under contract.

Many speculated that BriseBois had brought McDonagh back to town to make him captain if Stamkos ever left.

Stamkos’ preference is to stay in Tampa Bay, and the Lightning’s and Julien BriseBois’ preference is to keep Stamkos in town.

Obviously, this doesn’t mean that Stamkos will stay in Tampa Bay.

Unless the captain decides to sign on the cheap, it could be very difficult to find common ground with so little money.

At 34, Stamkos is probably on his last contract, and will surely want to sign for as much money as possible, but you never know.

In short, until there’s real progress on this issue, rumours will continue to swirl around the NHL, especially those linking Stamkos to the Montreal Canadiens, given his strong bond with head coach Martin St-Louis.

In a gust

– Of note.

– What do you think?

– This will be his biggest challenge yet.

– Coming up.

– To be listened to.

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