Brewer Re-Signs, Stamkos Will Too

The Tampa Bay Lightning, who are still looking at a deal for forward Steven Stamkos, have made a signing prior to Friday's NHL Entry Draft.

Defenceman Eric Brewer has agreed to a four-year deal with the club that will pay him just under $16 million.

The 32-year-old, who recorded nine goals and seven assists in 76 games last season with the St. Louis Blues and the Lightning, was set to become a free agent on July 1.

This is a good signing by Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman. Brewer was a good fit on Tampa's big blueline, so retaining him was a must. Clearly he didn't work out in St. Louis, but Yzerman knows from his Detroit days that you need to give players a chance.

As for all these ridiculous rumours about Stamkos not wanting to resign with Tampa; one question: are you guys nuts?

If any fans, especially Leafs fans, think that Stamkos is going anywhere needs to give their head a shake. And then go and learn how restricted free agency works.

Just looking at capgeek.com right now, Tampa has 27 million dollars in cap space. Take four away because of the Brewer deal and you're left with 23 million to sign your free agents. So let's play GM for a bit.

The Lightning have Stamkos, Teddy Purcell, Simon Gagne, Sean Bergenheim, Adam Hall, Mike Lundin, Matt Smaby, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Randy Jones, Dwayne Roloson and Mike Smith as free agents. Eleven players with 23 million to work with.

Let's say that Smaby and Hall are most likely going to leave in free agency. Even if they didn't they won't chew up that much space. So take away 2 million (21 million). Now we're signing Purcell to a contract under 3 million (18 million). Roloson and Smith will probably take one million each (16 million). Bergeron, Lundin and Jones might combine for 2 million (14 million), and Bergenheim will most likely get 2 million (12 million).

SO now we have Simon Gagne and Stamkos left. 12 million on the table. Stamkos is RFA and Gagne is UFA. Now who do you think the Bolts are going to pick?

As an RFA, it doesn't mean a thing if Stamkos wanted to stay or not. Guess what, that's why it's called "Restricted" Free Agency. So Tampa retains his rights until he's a UFA.

If you are a team that wants Stamkos, you have to offer something the Lightning couldn't match. Therefore you have to offer him over 12 million a year. Last year's max player salary was 11.88 million. Do you see an issue here?

So even if you could offer him something huge like a 9-10 million dollar contract, you have to give up FOUR first round draft picks. That's a great way to mortgage your future.

Plus it would look stupid on the cover of NHL 12 if he wasn't on Tampa anymore. Maybe EA knows something we don't.

And lastly, do you think for a second that a smart guy like Yzerman is going to take the compensation? Hell no! Stamkos will sign a contract and will play for Tampa Bay next year. And it will probably be a long term deal, too. The Lightning are a rising team and with Yzerman at the helm, it looks like they'll be in the playoffs challenging for the Cup for a long time.

Kyle Busch
www.thecheckingline.com
www.twitter.com/KyleBusch11

13 Comments

Truk Sacul's picture

You like the Wings and Lightning a lot eh?
Nobody's truly saying that the Leafs will offer sheet or trade or whatever for Stamkos. It's obviously very unlikely. But if you can't see that the potential is there, then you're kidding yourself.
Given current cap situations, rosters, etc. the Leafs would be in a position to offer more $$ and term than TB could match. There's no doubt about that. It's really just a matter of would they want to do it. And yeah sure maybe he does like playing in TB and wants to stay, if so then good for him. But if it came down to an offer for Toronto, I could easily see Burke selling him on being the King of his hometown of Toronto, the hockey capital of the world, while making more money to boot.
Another possibility is Burke and Yzerman establishing that this scenario could happen, and Burke telling Yzerman that instead of giving just the 4 draft picks, he'd be willing to work out a fair trade.
Again, it's obviously very unlikely, but these rumors don't just come out of nowhere.

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

Given current cap situations, rosters, etc. the Leafs would be in a position to offer more $$ and term than TB could match

Didn't I just say the Bolts have like 12 million left over? They have tonnes of space.

Truk Sacul's picture
Kyle Andrew Busch wrote:

Given current cap situations, rosters, etc. the Leafs would be in a position to offer more $$ and term than TB could match

Didn't I just say the Bolts have like 12 million left over? They have tonnes of space.

You had Roloson signing for $1 mil, well he just signed for $3, and Bergeron signed for $1 mil himself... So putting that with all of your other numbers we're now looking at less than $10 million

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

But a few resignings were lower than what I have them at, so it's still close. Tampa would move someone if they had to. It's pretty simple.

George Prax's picture

Whether it's in their budget or not the Bolts would match any offer for Stamkos. He's 21 and he's won major individual awards. Not to mention the Bolts made the Eastern conference final this year, so it's not like they're going to be rebuilding anytime soon, which would make it ridiculous to take the draft picks, even four first round picks, over Stamkos, unless they were in the Market to trade Lecavalier and St. Louis as well. Maybe an offer sheet will happen, but The Bolts are matching, no doubt about it.

Not to mention that I don't see Stamkos as the type to abandon the organization that drafted him either just because he grew up in Toronto. I think you're giving the Leafs a little too much credit here.

And for the record, as someone who frequented hockeybuzz for many years and sees his fair share of rumors running this sites, yes, a lot of these rumors DO come out of nowhere.

Chuck Gaston Jr's picture

They wont and cant let Stamkos go. He is the future, he is that team. St.Louis is done in what, 4 to 5 years. Vinny has some time left, but he isn't elite anymore. The Lightning will get the deal done in time, if not, they match any offer they can.