Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cover Boy Stamkos Signs Extension with TB Lightning

AP Photo
The one guy that has the potential to score 50 goals a year and only after just completing his 3nd year as a professional in the National Hockey League has signed his first contract extension with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He's re-upped with TB for another five years and reportedly to have it $37.5 million dollars.

He's quickly becoming the media darling in a lot of hockey media areas whereas Ovechkin has underachieved and Crosby has been injury prone. Stamkos has even generated talk as to being the best hockey player in the NHL within the year. While it's quite the lofty accolade, the pundits who are quick to label him the next great superstar may want to check and see what it did to Alex and Sid. But he's still not going to get paid like the top superstars, according to the article written in the Rogers Sportsnet website.
Even though Stamkos scored a major raise coming out of his entry-level deal, the $7.5-million annual cap hit he'll carry is less than Alex Ovechkin ($9.53 million per year), Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin ($8.7 million each) received in their second NHL contracts.
But that's not going to stop Stamkos from being who he is and determined to make a winning franchise from their slumping stages. To make money, Tampa Bay needs to win. Assuredly, the high scoring offense of three powerful forwards like the Lightning have, they can at least come half way and show the fans their commitment to winning every year.

But as they pay out the money to Stamkos, just what will happen to the Lightning and some of the other albatross contracts belonging to Lecavalier and St. Louis. Will they have to be moved? It's still a possibility that new GM Steve Yzerman, who grew up with the value of one-team loyalty in hockey, can find a way to keep all three franchise guys as well as a young Hedman on defense.

We'll see what Stamkos does now that even after being a highly rumored RFA this off-season, the EA Sports cover boy is going to have to prove himself this upcoming season if the sports pundits want him to be looked at in the same caliber as Crosby or Ovechkin.

[Via: Rogers Sportsnet]
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