The Obligatory Stamkos Post

Warning: this post is a rant.  If you don’t like sarcasm or me being somewhat arrogant, then don’t read it.

Well, it’s July 13, and Steven Stamkos hasn’t been signed by the Tampa Bay Lightning.  This really isn’t anything surprising.  Stamkos is a star, and he expects to be paid like a star.  However, he is a RFA, and has little leverage.  He doesn’t even have arbitration rights.  But yet, there has been no offer sheet, no trade, and no signing.  Every single hockey blog has asked why their team hasn’t presented Stamkos with an offer sheet or traded for him. (If you want to skip to the part where I discuss the Rangers, it’s after the jump.)

Well, I can answer both for you.  I’ll start with the latter.  He isn’t being traded. Period.  End of story.  Don’t bother with the “what-ifs” until December, when it’s a “sign him or he can’t play for the year” scenario.

Now, why hasn’t he been offer sheeted, like some in the media think he should be? Well, let’s start with the basics: It’s poor form and poor relationship management to offer sheet a team’s star player.

But Dave, why do relationships with other teams matter?

Well Jimmy, it’s because if you have poor relationships with other teams, good luck trying to trade with them.  Yes, that was an R-Truth reference.

Anyway, more reasons why Stamkos hasn’t been presented an offer sheet: It would have to be a ridiculous sum of money to both a) sign him and b) not have Steve Yzerman match the offer.  I’m talking a max contract until Stamkos is 50.  Ok, maybe not 50, but probably until he’s 27 (five years).  That’s $12 million a season.  That’s Marc Staal’s AND Marian Gaborik’s contracts combined!

A third reason: Compensation.  Not many teams are willing to hamstring their cap (see point above) AND give up four first round picks in the process.  An offer sheet for Stamkos would actually be counter productive.  It kills your farm system and your cap.  People complain about the Rangers having $12 million tied up in Player X and Player Y….but Stamkos’ contract would be a combination of the two.

These are very obvious reasons as to why he hasn’t been presented with an offer sheet, but yet a ton of people STILL think he should be.  Lesson number one: Just because it was published doesn’t mean it’s a) accurate, b) thought out, or c) all of the above.  Just because a team needs to hit the cap floor doesn’t mean they are going to destroy their future cap situation by signing Stamkos to an absurd contract.

Let’s also factor in that the Islanders, who hemorrhage more money than desperate fat guys at a strip club, are not operating on a cap that is dictated by the NHL.  They are operating on a cap that is dictated by Charles Wang.  That internal cap is likely right at the current salary cap floor, or possibly even below it.  Would it shock anyone if the Islanders didn’t hit the cap floor?  Maybe saving that $10 million is more important to Wang than the mid-round draft pick penalty it will cost to get to the floor*.

*-No one knows what the penalty for this is yet. I am guessing it won’t be extreme.

Now, how does this apply to the Rangers, and why didn’t Slats present Stamkos with an offer sheet? Well, Glen Sather has publicly stated that he does not believe in offer sheets.  Well, so much for that question, but let’s go into this more, and say Slats did believe in offer sheets.

Let’s play the game where the Rangers gave Stamkos the contract that they gave Richards.  There are a ton of assumptions made here.  First, what makes you think Stamkos would accept that deal?  Second, there is absolutely no way that Yzerman does not match the offer.  A $6.67 million cap hit for Steven Freaking Stamkos?  He probably buys Slats dinner for presenting him with an offer like that.

Oh, and one final point about the compensation.  There have been discussions that the Rangers presenting Stamkos with a Richards type contract means that the compensation is less than the four first round picks (in this case: two firsts, a second, and a third).  This is simply not true.  Compensation is based on the average value of the deal over the first five years of the deal ($12 million), which means that the Rangers would still be giving up those four first round picks.

Four first round picks, and a $12 million cap hit for Steven Stamkos.  If there were no salary cap, then sure.  However, having 20% of the cap tied up in one player is irresponsible management of a franchise.  THAT is why no one has presented Stamkos with an offer sheet.

Can we put this silly rumor to bed now?

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  • I agree. Put it to bed. Not to mention any team would have to officially keep their offer to Stamkos on the books for about a week after he accepts it. Stevey Y wouldn’t match it right away, he’d take the max time to handcuff that team from using that cap space elsewhere. You take yourself out of the mix for a week, piss off a new/young/good GM, and if it even goes through, you ruin your ability to put people around him to have the pieces to win a cup either via draft (4 picks?! holy hell) or via free agency because his cap hit is so big! Love the rant.

  • I disagree with the whole relationship angle. If a GM is presented with a deal that makes his team better and doesn’t take it because one of his player’s was given an offer sheet by the guy on the other end of the line, that’s just plain stupid.

    • It is a reality in the NHL. Most GMs don’t like offer sheets and will hold grudges against GMs that offer them.

    • At the very least, nominate “Let’s also factor in that the Islanders, who hemorrhage more money than desperate fat guys at a strip club, are not operating on a cap that is dictated by the NHL” for best quote.

  • Just to play devil’s advocate, ignoring the ruining relationship angle, say a team offered Stamkos a 10 year $100m deal, being ignorant of Tampa’s cap situation I would expect that to be at the very limit of their ability to accept. Now despite the huge chunk it would take out any teams cap space, namely 1/6 of the budget on one player, that valuation might not be that far off the mark as how many 50 goal 90+ pt 21 year olds are there? Furthermore, though the 4 1st round picks is steep, the likelihood of any team drafting a player as talented as Stamkos in any of those 4 rounds is extremely low. Also the Rangers have shown that it is quite possible to stock the farm system with players from the mid rounds seeing as our first round picks generally suck. Examples of mid rounders, Dubinsky, Stepan, Anisimov, Christian Thomas, etc. Anyway, just my 2 cents. (Just to make it clear, I’m not advocating the Rangers trade away half the team to present Stamkos with a ridiculous offer sheet, just speaking hypothetically.

      • I wasn’t even talking about the Rangers….I sincerely wasn’t, I don’t see what the purpose of the comments are if they aren’t to discuss the article. Which my post did. I was looking for a response to my post since it ran contrary to the main post. Thanks for that though.

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