Darren Dreger was on Toronto’s TSN 1050 on Monday morning.
On what he’s hearing about Steven Stamkos, and what’s going on in his head as far as his future:
“Well, there has to be a lot going on outside of his head and inside of his head. In the perfect world, this would have been dealt with prior to the start of last season, and it would have been a non-story all season long. He would have been extended. Everyone would have been happy. Aside from the injury factor, which you can never control, it would have been a terrific season for Stamkos and the Lightning. But that’s not the case.
“I still believe he wants to stay with the Lightning. He wants to finish what he started. He wants to help this organization realize its goal of winning a Stanley Cup. But because of everything else around him, the pending restricted free agents, the unrestricted free agents a year from now – Yzerman has a plateful.
“So what I’ve been told – and not by Tampa Bay or by Newport Sports, but some who believe that they’re in the know where this case is concerned – is that Yzerman has said to others that he can’t go above $8.5 million. So perhaps he boosts the term, and if the term gets boosted to the max of eight years, that’s a lot of money that Steven Stamkos is going to have to walk away from if he goes to free agency.
“But again, to link Detroit back into this, and there’s a number of teams. I know we’ve openly talked about the Toronto Maple Leafs’ interest. I think Detroit is one of those teams that would automatically, if they could move the Datsyuk contract, put down an offer of seven years at $10 million per for Stamkos, if he gets to July 1.
“So there’s $70 million versus… what’s eight years times $8.5 million; that’s almost $70 million, and you’re staying with the Lightning.
I’m getting $68 million, for an extra year.
“So he leaves a little bit of money on the table to stay (in Tampa Bay.) As good a player as he is, and he’s an elite player, is there going to be a team that’s going to give him a bigger AAV, Annual Average Salary, than $10 million per year. I doubt it.”
What would the maximum be.
“Well, honestly? I think between $70 and maybe $72 million. I’m not negotiating this, but he can only get a seven-year term if he leaves Tampa Bay, so how many teams are going to be willing to give him better than $10 million.
“And guys, look at what happened very recently yet again with the Chicago Blackhawks. This is a team that’s always a Stanley Cup contender. But they’ve got Kane. They’ve got Toews. Those are $10 million cap hits. And they had to move out a real good player in Teravainen to move out a bad contract in Bryan Bickell to the Carolina Hurricanes. So you have to be careful when you sign those big ticket players.”
Source: TSN 1050/Transcript: Nichols