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Lightning running out of time to extend Stamkos
Credit: Getty Images
Steven Stamkos has spent his entire NHL career with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He led the Florida team to two consecutive championships as captain. However, his great career could be over as he is still without a contract for next season.

Stamkos will become an uncompensated free agent on Monday if the Lightning fail to offer him an attractive deal. According to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, negotiations continue, but the situation has reached status quo.

At 34, Stamkos probably won’t be looking for a long-term contract, but he’s still producing like an elite-caliber player. His 81 points in 79 games last season prove it.

His last contract was worth $8.5 million on the payroll. Presumably, Tampa Bay wants to offer him a little less money to better manage the space under the salary cap.

The captain must therefore make a quick decision: more money on the free agent market or stay with his team for a little less?

Three major contract extensions to come?

Ever since the Maple Leafs were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, Mitch Marner’s name has been the subject of numerous transaction rumours, sending him all over the National League.

Should the Maple Leafs decide to keep him, they will soon have to offer him a contract extension, as he will become an uncompensated free agent next summer. His current contract is worth $10.903 million on the payroll.

The good news for Toronto is that negotiations can begin this summer to avoid the stress of negotiations next spring.

Marner isn’t the only one in this category. Leon Draisaitl and Igor Shesterkin are both in the same situation, with only one season remaining on their contracts before becoming uncompensated free agents.

No team wants to lose an elite player as a free agent. Expect to hear more about negotiations between these players and their respective teams this summer.

Chris Johnston of The Athletic confirmed that the Oilers have no intention of letting Draisaitl leave as a free agent, and that negotiations between the two sides could begin as early as this summer.

Hurricanes not giving up on Guentzel project

Contrary to popular belief, the Carolina Hurricanes are still in negotiations with forward Jake Guentzel to offer him a contract extension.

That’s what TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports.

Guentzel’s contract weighed $6 million on the payroll. With his recent performances (77 points in 67 games in 2023-24), he should earn a much more lucrative contract.

The Hurricanes, who currently have just over $23 million in salary cap space, still have to deal with the likes of Brady Skjei and Brett Pesce on defense, not to mention Teuvo Teravainen on offense.

It would be surprising if they managed to find the money to offer Guentzel a big contract.

Overtime

– Good work indeed.

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