Lightning GM Gives Major Update on Steven Stamkos’ Pending Free Agency

Julien BriseBois, the general of the Tampa Bay Lightning says signing Steven Stamkos is his priority this off-season.

Stamkos played out the final year of his contract and did not sign an extension before the start of the season, despite expressing his interest in doing so. Throughout the season, his future with the team was a major topic of discussion.

However, following the Lightning being eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Florida Panthers, Brisebois says his main priority is signing Stamkos to an extension.

“It is obviously a priority to see if we can get this done… I am very hopeful,” BriseBois said to the media, according to’s Gabby Shirley.

BriseBois says he met with Stamkos briefly after Game 5 when the team plane landed in Tampa Bay. The GM also says he’s been in contact with Stamkos’ agent to align their schedules to start a negotiation.

BriseBois was also impressed with Stamkos’ play down the stretch and in the first round of the playoffs against Florida.

“Obviously, Steven Stamkos needs a contract and we want him a part of that group. You all saw, from the trade deadline on, Stammer elevated his level of play, which was incredible to see. For someone who has already earned his Hall of Fame plaque, has accomplished so much already, and has been accomplishing so much for so long, for him to play arguably the best two months of hockey of his career because it started around the trade deadline and he carried it into that series against the Panthers,” BriseBois said.

“For him to do that at the time when our team needed it most was incredible. You were all able to to see how he led on the ice… The aim is for him to continue to play on a contending Tampa Bay Lightning team going forward,” BriseBois added.

In the first round, Stamkos had 5 goals and one assist for 6 points in 5 games.

Jon Cooper Hopeful Stamkos is Back

Along with BriseBois, Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper has also made it clear he wants to see Stamkos re-sign with the team.

Question: “Jon, there’s going to be a lot of conversation about the future of Steven Stamkos. What can you say about your captain and if you can imagine him not wearing a Lightning?”

Cooper: “I don’t know if there will be much conversation. I hope not anyway. He belongs here. We…

— Chris Krenn (@Chris_Krenn) April 30, 2024

“I don’t know if there will be much conversation. I hope not anyway. He belongs here. We know it. He knows it,” Cooper said, via’s Chris Krenn… “He feels like a Bolt for life, but only he and Julien can answer that one.”

Stamkos has only ever played for the Lightning, as he was drafted by the team with the first overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft.

Stamkos not Thinking About Future

The Lightning captain entered this season in the final year of the 8-year deal he signed in 2016.

To begin the year, Stamkos vented his frustration about not having a contract extension, but once the season started, his focus shifted to the game.

After the Lightning were eliminated by the Panthers, Stamkos says he hadn’t thought about his future.

I asked Steven Stamkos about if he was thinking about his future as the clock was winding down?

He was not.

Jon Cooper said ultimately only Stamkos and BriseBois knows what is next on that front. #GoBolts

— Evan Closky (@ECloskyWTSP) April 30, 2024

“No, that never crossed my mind. “I’m out there battling to try to help our team win regardless at the end of the game. We’re trying to score and there’s some pride on the line for our group, so no,” Stamkos said.

Stamkos has played 1082 career games, recording 555 goals and 582 assists for 1137 points. He also helped lead the Lightning to back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2020 and 2021.

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