NHL Rumors III: Stamkos, Maple Leafs, Sharks and Penguins

  • Stephen Whyno in the Toronto Star: Lightning Steven Stamkos will be a UFA in 2016 and thought of playing for the Maple Leafs could be there.

    “We’ll see what happens. It’s a couple years away,” Stamkos said Wednesday. “Right now I’m focused on what I have to do to win in Tampa, and I think we’ve really established ourselves as a team that can compete in upcoming years.

    “For me, that’s the important thing is getting a chance to win. It looks like we’re going to have that chance for a couple years.”

    Stamkos added that talk of him possibly coming to Toronto in two years will “absolutely not” be a distraction for him.

    “I try not to focus about that stuff,” he said. “I think that’s the great thing about playing in Tampa is hockey isn’t the mecca that it is here in Toronto and you can kind of go about your life and kind of get away from the game when you need to.”

    Stamkos added that he enjoys playing big hockey markets like Toronto.

    “I’m from around here and grew up cheering for the Leafs, so any time I get a chance to come back here I enjoy it, and any time I get a chance to play against the Leafs it’s fun,” he said. “It’s also fun beating them, too, because a lot of my friends are still Leaf fans.”

  • Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area: Kurz expects the Sharks to start the season with Antti Niemi and Alex Stalock in net. If they were going to trade Niemi, it likely would have happened already. Niemi has one-year left on his deal at $3.8 million. It’s possible that a team during the season could look at Niemi as a backup or potential starter. Niemi has won a Stanley Cup and was a Vezina Finalist just over a year ago.

20 Comments

  1. don morris

    July 24, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Hockey news is slow this time of year,so I assume that’s what prompted speculation that Tampa would not sign their only superstar and let him go to the Leafs. I haven’t seen any concurrent rumors that Steve Yzerman has been inflicted with dementia.

    Stamkos to TO is like dreaming of winning the 50 million in the lottomax, a great dream, but highly unlikely.

  2. Jonathan

    July 24, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Yet another pipe dream for TML fans. Not only will they sign every good FA available for all eternity, acquire top talent with disposable players but they’ll get Stamkos to boot AND stay under the CAP. Wait, maybe the NHL will make an exemption and allow the Leafs an infinite amount of money for a chance to finally win a Cup! What’s the opposite of “realistic”?

  3. Nick

    July 24, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Wow you guys really are bandwagonners. Unless Stamkos is money hungry or unpatriotic, there is no reason for him not to sign with the maple leafs. The leafs were the team that he grew up with and some of his friends are still leaf fans. Why would an athlete not want to come home and play for his home team? You guys disgust me. This mindset is why good CDN players get stuck in the states, its unpatriotic. Screw Crosby, go play for team USA at the Olympics.

  4. Jonathan

    July 24, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Here’s a reason Nick: Tampa Bay is lined up for success. No matter where a player comes from, the potential of winning the Stanley Cup is essential. I am certain Stamkos would love to play for the Leafs but what are the odds TB let’s him become a FA?? They’ll lock him up long term at money the Leafs won’t have to spend (even if the CAP goes up 10M between now and then) and, even if they could, would they even have the pieces to trade for him? Realistically, it would take a miracle for Stamkos to wear the blue and white. On the patriotic side of your argument, Stamkos will be able to represent Canada no matter where is plays hockey in the NHL. FYI – his GM in TB is Steve Yzerman!!

  5. Brad

    July 24, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Not sure if you guys watch hockey much but technically Stamkos does play for the Blue and White as Tampa’s colours are the exact same as the Leafs colours!! Also here is the reality! Tampa would never trade Stamkos UNLESS he will not resign with them! After hi current contract Stamkos is a FREE Agent! This means he is FREE to go to whatever team he would like to play for whatever money they offer if he so chooses to accept that deal! Tampa cannot control him signing another contract because Mr. Stamkos clearly only signed until he became a free agent, meaning he wanted to control his destiny at that point in his career! Money is money no matter who is paying it to you and Steven will get a lot of it with his next contract NO matter who he signs with! Another fact is that this is ALL speculation at this point and ONLY Steven knows for sure what he will or will not be doing with his very bright hockey future come the 2016 season!

  6. 416

    July 24, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    For all the Leaf haters, lets be clear. Leafs Nation did not start this speculation…It all started when STEVEN STAMKOS favourited a tweet that someone posted saying Will Toronto have it’s own LeBron James. So #$&% you haters! Stamkos is a native of the Toronto area (markham = GTA). If he’s going to come here, he perfectly has a chance to win just as much as he does with TBL. TBL got swept in the 1st round…so I don’t think TBL is any better off than the Leafs. Yeah they got alot of new additions, but we’ll see how that plays off this season. IFFFF he is to come to Toronto…it’s purely for the dream of playing for his hometown. Just like what LeBron did. But I’m sure if Stamkos chooses Toronto over TBL (who would be a nobody w/o him), he would have an excellent chance of winning here. Just imagine a line with Kessel-Stamkos-JVR!!!

  7. Stammer

    July 24, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    I think why not other players are coming home to play for home. Look at Parise, Suter, and Vanek signing with the wild. Tampa May get lucky and go far and win a cup within the next few years who knows. There is no better feeling playing for your home team and winning a cup with them. Yzerman, being the former Head of hockey Canada, will have absolutely no impact on Stamkos staying with Tampa.

  8. 416

    July 24, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    The only thing Yzerman can offer is Money and Captaincy…The Leafs can offer much more than that. He could have the chance to be the hero of Toronto if he comes here…imagine the fame this guy will have. The only thing I can see preventing him from signing with Toronto is if TBL makes it to the Stanley Cup finals or the Conf Finals before he becomes a UFA. Yzerman can easily use that as a leverage and push him to stick around for longer.

  9. Stammer

    July 24, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Exactly, BOOM!

  10. Ross

    July 24, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    This all reminds me of Rick Nash, who by the way said the same things but in reality wanted nothing to do with a losing franchise that’s in much disarray as the leafs. Bottom line leaf fans, stop drinking the kook aid

  11. ChrisB

    July 24, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    This Stamkos speculation started long before that tweet surfaced. That tweet just rekindled the frenzy.

    I think Brad said it best…..only Stamkos will know where he’ll be in 2016. Everybody else is just speculating, and every reason possible can be tossed around, but ultimately, it boils down to Stamkos’ own reasons and desires when that time comes.

  12. Austin

    July 24, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    416. By the way TBL got beat in the first round with their starting goaltender out for the first round. They also managed 101 points with their best player (Stamkos) out for about 3 months. They have the skill and the youth to compete for years unless health is an issue, and that could be an issue for any team. I don’t care where he goes, but TBL are much closer to a cup than TOR. Sorry.

  13. I_am_I

    July 25, 2014 at 2:03 am

    If Stamkos is going to sign only for a cup then he would be looking west. TBL aren’t really that close. What Tampa Bay offers is familiarity, low taxes and an 8th year on the contract. Toronto offers friends, family and his boyhood team.
    Anyway I agree this is idle speculation. Most players re-up, so odds are he will too.

  14. Gman

    July 25, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Stankos just knows how stupid and guillable Maple Leaf fans are and that they will read so much into this nonsense that he is playing right along with it. I am quite sure he has zero intention of leaving TB which is an up and coming team to go to the forever rebuilding, reshuffling Maple Leafs, who are on another downturn as it is.

  15. Phil

    July 25, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Look at what…. “Coming home”

    Did for bolland and clarkson

    Insert gunshot wound to the head

  16. raithen

    July 25, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Stamkos is not Bolland or Clarkson. Not every player in the league is afraid to play in front of Toronto crowds and media scrutiny (see Nash, Rick).

    Ultimately, Stamkos is the only one who knows where he ultimately wants to play so any speculation from Leafs Nation, the Leaf hater crowd or the media is all complete bullsh*t.

    Steven controls his own destiny. Yzerman can’t force him to sign an extension — he can only try to make the team and Tampa Bay seem like the most attractive option (and perhaps TBL being much closer to Cup contention is the most compelling reason).

    This entire “story” is patently ridiculous and a waste of everyone’s time. We’ll find out what Stamkos does in a couple years.

    Leafs fans, myself included, can dream that he’ll want to come home and play for us. Maybe it’s a pipe dream, maybe it’s reality. Who knows?

  17. Kelley

    July 25, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    I heard that Stamkos was a Habs fan growing up so maybe he’ll stay there. He did say he wants to play for a contender so there’s no way he play for the Leafs. The Leafs are pretenders at best.

  18. Brinn

    July 25, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Kelley- I can tell by your androgynous name that at birth your parents couldn’t tell if you were male or female. So you grew up a habs fan. Stamkos grew up a leaf fan
    Go back to selling guy lafleur black market Viagra and get off your cell mates dell computer

  19. Kelley

    July 25, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Brinn – Lol, you are so wrong but what’s new considering you’re a Leafs fan. For the record I’m a Bruins fan and the Habs are the Arch Enemy. I’m sure the only team that considers the Leafs their arch enemy would have to be the Toronto Marlies. And for the record I did read that somewhere and was not making it up to be a dork. And as far as names I could care less what anyone thinks about it. Your name looks like your parents fell asleep halfway through coming up with a real one. Seriously though, who cares about names anyway, they are nothing but a label, it’s the person that it’s tagged to that counts.

  20. raithen

    July 26, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Kelley: I don’t know where you got your information but Stamkos quite clearly stated, “I’m from around here and grew up cheering for the Leafs.” Does that sound like a Habs fan? Maybe you’re thinking of Subban?