Is Stamkos worth the Money and why Richards is worth his

July 19, 2011, by

No player has scored more goals in the NHL over the past two years than Steven Stamkos. Today, Stamkos got his reward as he signed a 5 year deal for $37.5 million with his Tampa Bay Lightning. The first thing to note is the lack of a ridiculous length on the contract engineered by Steve Yzerman. Beyond that, something got me thinking – Is Stamkos worth a $7.5m cap hit? Well the answer isn’t necessarily as obvious as you may believe.

Right now, Stamkos is absolutely worth his new deal but will he still score the goals as frequently when he loses one of the very best playmaking wingers in the league in Marty St Louis to eventual retirement? That’s a big question and may be a reason behind the length of the Stamkos deal. Maybe Tampa wants to see how Stamkos does minus his wingman before re-upping him again and maybe they learnt from the ugly deal they gave Vinny Lecavalier?

At 36 years of age St Louis is still one of the very best players in the league but he will likely be retired when Stamkos’ deal expires in 5 years. The diminutive winger is an elite set-up man; having notched at least 50 assists every season since 2006. Back to Stamkos; the goal scoring center thrives off the quality service he gets and is able to use that wicked shot of his, something that will remain long after St Louis is gone. However, will Stamkos get to use his shot the same way he does now, minus the elite service? That remains to be seen.

One the reason Rangers fans should be happy with the arrival of Brad Richards is the fact he has proven he can thrive with different players and on different teams. His success has never been linked to any one player too much. Richards has had elite seasons in both Tampa and Dallas and it can be argued that Richards is a type that makes players around him better rather than being a product of those on his line.

Naturally, Richards has benefitted from having good line mates along the way but whereas previous big ticket recruits may have benefitted from their previous surroundings rather than thriving because of their own game (Holik in the Devils defensive system, Redden on a stacked Ottawa blue line etc, etc) Richards has done it as the main guy at two different clubs – another reason his contract can be justified.


  1. joey says:

    its absurd to imply that richards has a better chance of justifying his 9/60 contract that stamkos does of justifying his 5/37.5

    • Chris says:

      that’s not the point. What I’m saying is that Richards’ deal can be justified because he has proven his ability over a long time in various situations. Stamkos is a brilliant player but will he be the same player without a generational talent on his wing?

      We’ve seen the decline in Lecavalier since his line mates changed and now his long deal is a bit of a cap headache for Tampa.

      For the record I think Stamkos will fully justify his deal, I’m just throwing the very legitimate thought of the unknown (after St Louis…)out there to discuss.

  2. Agentsmith says:

    If u think about it the deal would place stamkos at 26-27. If he hits free agency then he will make a richards-like contract somewhere. and if tb doesnt think they can resign him – he will become the talk of a future trading deadline.

    while he did fizzle down the stretch of the season remember that he is only 21. tb has brett connolly among others in the system so the st luois thing isnt a big deal.

    also realize that he has never put up 100 pts in a season. so it kind of fits that he didnt get crosby money.

    • Chris says:

      Tampa doesn’t have much in their system and no one anywhere near capable of replicating St Louis.

      I know St Louis defied a lot to produce the career he’s had (so its not easy to say they wont replace him…) but it is very hard to replace a 60assist/season guy equally.

  3. Matt J says:

    I don’t think this is a good argument. You can build a team around stamkos. Richards is only a good signing because we already have the pieces to win. If the leafs signed Richards it would be dumb because they couldnt win a cup with him at this point. At least if we didn’t sign Richards we could still win games.

    • Adrian says:

      Matt I agree with your point about Leafs signing Richards, it would have been a waste. The Stamkos signing was good money spent and Chris’ theory without St. Louis, he will have his shot without a perfect pass or the right play. This being said Stamkos is a fantastic goal scorer and he can have a team around him though don’t you need a St. Louis? You need a playmaker for a sniper to succeed. Richard and Gabi, St. Louis and Stamkos I feel both deals are good, and worth it.

      • Dave says:

        I think Stamkos is a guy that can succeed without a playmaker, the same way Crosby succeeds without much help in wingers. His talent is on the next level of Gaborik/Richards that he doesn’t need that extra playmaker.

        Sure, it helps, but as long as someone gets him the puck, or gets the puck on net, Stamkos will be fine.

        • The Suit says:

          Totally and his agent was looking for a max deal. This is a great contract.

        • Section 121 says:

          One could even argue the other way and say that it is because of Stamkos that St. Louis has had such great late career success…

          • The Suit says:

            One could. Good point. You guys need to start nominating comments. Been some good arguments this week.

  4. Walt says:

    This article is academic, these two players are not the same. Richards is a proven player, who is being over-paid for his past performance. Stamkos is a sniper, that is showing he is the real deal, has scored over 40 goals for a few years, and showed gonads this past play-off season.

    They are in different stages of their careers, and both will earn their keep. If I had a choice between the two, I’d go for the youth, but I won’t complain about Richards. BR is going to jump start Gaborik’s career, and help him score some 45 goals this season, if he stays healthy. If that is the case, and I believe it to be, then BR will be worth whatever he gets from the Rangers, and we get hope in return!!!!!