Stamkos’ agent provides contract update, stresses “due diligence”

Since the Leafs’ season has so far shown to be as expected, most fans have now settled in nicely for draft lottery talk and looking forward to next year as more prospects in the currently system mature to hopefully hit their NHL stride in 2016.

But there’s still Stamkos Watch.

Don’t think it’s gone away. It hasn’t. And it won’t until something gets hammered out.

Now, as much as I believe the Leafs and Stamkos is a real thing that can happen, and even though this negotiation has spilled into his final contract year, the Lightning are obviously still runaway favourites to keep him beyond next summer. As his agent, Don Meehan, pointed out on TSN1050 today, it isn’t totally normal for players of magnitude to get to this point unsigned but it’s something we’ve seen before – notably with Getzlaf and Perry in Anaheim.

But another quote in the segment is a bit more of an eye-popper (via transcription by Chris Nichols at TSS):

“All that we’re really doing at this point in time is taking a little bit more time…But we’re engaged with Steve Yzerman. And as I say, we have a great relationship with him. And when you get to a point in a career where you have professional decisions to make like this – as you know, the Collective Bargaining Agreement doesn’t really afford you this kind of opportunity that often. And the Collective Bargaining Agreement is a give and take process, and it’s something that you – for this kind of a decision and this kind of player, I really think that you have to practice due diligence to the nth degree.”

Meehan isn’t saying anything groundbreaking here for the most part. His client is in a position to cash in heavy, at peak age, maybe to the tune of a league-max contract.

But “due diligence” in this context could mean taking this thing far enough that Stamkos tests the waters of free agency. Due diligence could mean hearing what the Leafs (and their pending boatload of cap room) have to say. It’s an interesting quote for sure, and it definitely will add to the concern that he could leave Tampa, a team deep with talent and expensive cap hits, to rake in as much money as he can on what should easily be the biggest contract of his career.

Yzerman was asked on TSN Drive this evening (during a segment about Fedorov and the Hall of Fame) to weigh in on the negotiations, but quickly shot things down by saying it isn’t something he’ll discuss through the media.

  • Gary Empey

    Jonathan Toews, and Kane, Patrick both signed 7 year contracts at $10,500,000 per year. Toews will be 33 and Kane 33 Nov. 19 at the end of their contracts. Both players have no movement clauses in their contracts. Will the value be there in the last 3 years at age 31, 32, 33?

    Is a GM in a delemma on signing Stamkos? Born Feb 7 1990 — Markham, ONT [25 yrs. ago] .

    GM’s know they often get burned in the last half of those long term contracts as a lot of players (not all) seem to decline rapidly.

    2015–16 season

    The team salary cap is $71.4 million. No player can earn more than $14.28 million.

    Shea Weber (Nashville Predators) $14 million

    Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks) $13.8 million

    Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks) $13.8 million

    Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) $12 million

    Phil Kessel (Pittsburgh Penguins) $10 million

    So my open question would be ” What would you pay/term to sign Stamkos if he becomes a free agent?”

    • Gary Empey

      Yes you are right cap hit and wages paid are not always the same. I simply copied and pasted some data to help anyone who wished to make an offer for Stamkos. Some of our TLN-er’s feel the Leafs are wrong to offer long term/high wages to veteran players. Our players are making far less compared to the top guys. (As they should be).Weber’s signing bonus (not counting his salary) for the last 4 years has been almost double Phaneuf’s salary. His signing bonus (not counting his salary) will be more than Phaneuf’s salary for the next two years as well. This is on a team that missed the playoffs in two of their last three seasons, and went out in the first round last year.

      $7,857,143 is Weber’s cap hit for the next 11 years. He does have huge signing bonus’ for the next three years. He will be 41 years old in the last year of his contract. I suppose Nashvilles fans will be saying ” Who the hell signed this guy to that contract.” They may be saying that already.

  • Gary Empey

    I think 10.5M is fair value for Stamkos.

    He will instantly be the best player on the team and first line centre we needed since Mats. I would suspect Nylander would play behind him, or Kadri, and Marner would be moved back to wing: once all are on the Leafs together.

    Plus add whomever the Leafs draft this summer.

    JVR wouldn’t have to be sold off either, and I don’t think he should be.

      • CMpuck

        They have enough room that Bozak could still stay if not moved between now and next season.

        Bozak will be in year 3 of 4.

        Looking at next season, granted Stamkos is a Leaf, the centres are: Stamkos, Nylander, and Bozak. Kadri?

        Holland is a RFA, Kadri is an RFA, Winnik plays all three positions and Froese isn’t even a real NHLer. No problems as I see it.

  • CMpuck

    The cap will be up at least 10 shhmill by the end of Stamkos’ contract and the Leafs should have cost controlled high end talent from RFA deals on their rebuild picks throughout Stamkos’ 7 years.

    Would be nice to see a legit top five talent on the Leafs for once.

    The window to get a Stamkos type talent through the draft, trade or free agency comes along once or twice a decade if that, look at Edmonton with 4 1st OA they only landed one true franchise player.

  • Gary Empey

    If Stamkos actually hits free agency what the chances he will be offered an overvalued contract?

    Would this be what his agent means by saying, “you have to practice due diligence to the nth degree.”?

    At some point will Tampa try to trade him to receive some value back?

    Stamkos already has a no movement clause. I also found this article from The Fourth Period, dated October 25.

    Stamkos, Lightning still far from deal

    As discussions continue between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Steven Stamkos’ agents, it doesn’t appear as if a new contract extension is in sight.

    Stamkos is in the final year of his contract and can become an unrestricted free agent next summer if he remains unsigned.
    As TFP has reported multiple times this month and last, the Lightning has yet to present Stamkos with a formal offer, something the Ottawa Sun also reported on Sunday.

    According to the Sun, who informally polled several league executives last week, if the Lightning does not get Stamkos signed by the Feb. 29 trade deadline, Tampa will have a hard time keeping him beyond this season.

    “(After Feb. 29) you have to think his agent will be telling him to test the market,” one unnamed executive told the Sun.

    Multiple league sources have told TFP their belief is Stamkos is seeking a contract worth between $11 million and $12 million, per season, something Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has not been willing to act on.

    In addition to Stamkos, the Lightning also has such forwards as Alex Killorn, J.T. Brown, Nikita Kucherov and Cedric Paquette who are in need of new contracts next season, which has played a factor in Tampa’s dealings with Stamkos.

    Though Braydon Coburn’s $4.5 million salary cap hit could come off the books next season, as he will become an unrestricted free agent and if the Bolts don’t re-sign him, Tampa Bay is up against a tight salary cap.

    It is unclear, at this point, when the Lightning and Stamkos’ representatives are scheduled to speak next.

    • Gary Empey

      I highly doubt Toronto will trade for Stamkos. Free agency or continue course.

      This is the first real rebuild, not a Burke rebuild. The only asset MLSE will exchange for Stamkos is cash, anything else is not within future and long-term plans.