Toronto Maple Leafs linked to Lightning captain Steven Stamkos

Mike Armenti
May 11, 2024  (12:21)

Steven Stamkos
Photo credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Pending UFA and two-time Stanley Cup champion Steven Stamkos has been linked to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The long-time Tampa Bay Lightning forward has been in the rumour mill dating back to last summer, when Lightning GM Julien BriseBois publicly stated that the Bolts would not be extending Stamkos ahead of the 2023-24 season.
After winning a pair of Cups in 2020 and 2021, and returning to the Cup Finals in 2022, the Lightning have taken a step back in both 2023 and 2024. In 2023, the Lightning were bounced in the first round by the Maple Leafs, and this year, Florida beat the Lightning in 5 games to send them packing in round 1 once again.
With these types of disappointments, at times, changes are needed and with Stamkos getting up there in age (34), he could he a casualty in Tampa this summer. The Lightning have stated that they want to try to keep the group together, but also mentioned that Stamkos may have to take a little less to remain with the Lightning - something the captain has mentioned that he is amenable to. The question is, though, how much of a hair cut is Stamkos willing to take in order to stay in Tampa?
Per Sportsnet, if Stamkos does hit the open market on July 1st, the Maple Leafs are one of four potential landing spots for the Markham native, with the other 3 being Nashville, Montreal and Detroit.

Stamkos, a two-time NHL All-Star, has had a decorated NHL career, with 2 Stanley Cups, 2 Rocket Richard Trophies, and a Mark Messier Leadership Award.
Over the course of his career, Stamkos has racked up an impressive 555 goals and 582 assists, for a total of 1,137 points in 1,082 regular seaon games, spanning across 16 seasons. This includes his 81 points in 79 games this past season. He has also added 100 points in 128 career playoff games.
While his best days are certainly behind him, Stamkos still has plenty of good hockey left and if he does opt to sign with the Leafs, depending on the cap hit, he could be a fine addition to a group that is sorely in need of a real roster shake-up.
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Toronto Maple Leafs linked to Lightning captain Steven Stamkos

If Steven Stamkos doesn't remain in Tampa, which of these 4 teams has the best chance of signing him this summer?

Toronto42344.5 %
Montreal10611.2 %
Nashville17318.2 %
Detroit24826.1 %
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