Just In: Why Stamkos Would Sign With Red Wings

Just In: Why Stamkos Would Sign With Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings are well-aware of Steven Stamkos, and he is well-aware of them as well. That does not imply that either party will necessarily want to advance the relationship, though.

On July 1, center Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning is expected to become an unrestricted free agent. He is probably the most sought-after player available among the UFA class of this year. Additionally, he would fit right in with the Red Wings, who are in urgent need of a No. 2 center.

Would Stamkos be of interest to the Red Wings? Maybe. Is it conceivable that Stamkos will think about moving to Detroit? Maybe.

There are mitigating factors on both sides of this equation that could lead to it adding up, or to the chance of it ever happening being completely scuttled.

Let’s look at all the variables in a potential Stamkos-Red Wings combination.

Stamkos A Red Wings Killer

Detroit is one of the NHL teams that Stamkos has most loved playing against. He has scored 23 goals and amassed 42 points in 42 regular-season games versus the Red Wings. Twice now, Stamkos has eliminated the Wings from the postseason.

Detroit needs a center to play in their top six, as was already mentioned. The Red Wings’ hopes of making the playoffs were dashed when captain and number one player Dylan Larkin left the team due to a late-season injury. The team would go on a seven-game losing streak.

The way the team collapsed without Larkin in the starting lineup astonished Detroit General Manager Steve Yzerman.

“We missed the offensive production when he was out of the lineup,” Yzerman said. “We need another centerman, or another impact forward at a different position to offset the loss of the offensive production.”

Yzerman Knows Stamkos

Yzerman is the NHL general manager who knows the most about Stamkos, aside from Julien BriseBois of the Lightning. When Stamkos was a UFA again in 2016, he was the general manager of Tampa Bay and overcame great odds to convince him to stay with the Lightning. Could he one more use his magic touch to persuade Stamkos of his importance to the Detroit rebuild?

A center like Steven Stamkos would help everyone fit into the lineup properly. J.T. Compher would move into the position of third-line center, where his abilities are most advantageous. Andrew Copp was able to go to the side. Additionally, Stamkos might be the center required to help Alex DeBrincat develop into a more reliable scorer.

Can Red Wings Afford Stamkos?

This is the Red Wings’ first legitimate worry in the event that Stamkos moves to Detroit. With all the other deals on the table for Yzerman to finalize this summer, would there be the funds to pay Stamkos?

The Detroit general manager has to secure the names of Lucas Raymond, a restricted free agent, and Moritz Seider on new contracts before anything else. He is unsure of the exact expense of that and probably won’t know before July 1, when he would have to start working on Stamkos.

Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere of the UFA has already expressed interest in staying with the team, according to Yzerman. The degree to which the Wings will pursue UFA forward Patrick Kane is another matter of doubt. Center Joe Veleno qualifies for arbitration as an RFA.

It is conceivable that Yzerman would have to remove one or two contracts from his team’s ledger in order for Stamkos to fit into this picture. Will anyone be interested in helping to make this happen?

Does Stamkos Want To Come To Detroit?

This is the second extremely important question in the given situation. It’s unclear exactly which way Stamkos is leaning. Does Detroit even cross his mind?

He will probably be looking for a team that can win it all sooner rather than later because he is 34 years old. Is that squad the Red Wings?

Who knows, though, if he will actually be departing Tampa Bay? When Stamkos was on the verge of becoming a UFA in 2016, it was expected to be obvious that he was done there. Ultimately, he signed a $68 million, eight-year contract to remain with the Lightning.

Is it possible for the Lightning to score twice and prevent Stamkos from going free? That is definitely feasible.

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