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.