In a largely unprecedented move, General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning Steve Yzerman released a statement saying that the team would not be looking to trade star player Steven Stamkos before the trade deadline.
No one really knows why this statement was necessary as not many believed that Stamkos was going to be available via trade anyway. For those uninformed of the situation, Stamkos will be an unrestricted free agent as of July 1st and many believe a move could be in store for the young center-man.
Complete statement from Steve Yzerman: pic.twitter.com/qw41C2G9XA
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) February 15, 2016
I wonder how this may impact the upcoming trade deadline as Stamkos was a name bandied about, though few believed he’d ever be traded this season. The forward market is very, very barren and teams trying to add to their team are going to be hard-pressed to find anyone that is a difference maker. That is what happens in the NHL these days as the age of parity grows more and more prevalent. Teams want to hold onto their assets and try to take a run at the Stanley Cup. It makes sense too. These teams aren’t just giving up the assets for nothing at the end of the season, but they are trying to accomplish the goal that each team sets out to accomplish.
This has to be an odd scenario for Stamkos, who for all intents and purposes is trying to win with the Lightning. We haven’t seen a scenario like this in sports since Lebron James decided to pick the Heat over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Unfortunately for the NHL, they don’t have the same profile as the NBA, but the drama is just as riveting.
So who will Steven Stamkos choose this offseason?