Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Does the blood clot issue actually make Steven Stamkos a more attractive UFA target?

Not to be overly cynical, but the Steven Stamkos blood clot, while at first worrisome, actually now allows me to see giving him a contract as less troubling than before. Whenever we float the idea of signing him, to provide P.K. with a friend, I worry that another massive cap hit of $10M will be too much to bear, too much money will be invested in those two, and Carey Price and Alex Galchenyuk when they come due, we won’t even be able to afford Max when his contract is up, or anyone else really.

And this is before I worry that the Tampa centre isn’t really a centre, that, like Jon Cooper, I see him more as a right wing and a triggerman rather than a playmaker. So are we overpaying for a square peg to bash into our ever unfilled round hole, our 'gros joueur de centre'?

And hasn’t his production fallen off in the last few seasons, post-broken tibia? We think of him as the 60 goal guy, but really he’s been 29, 25, 43 and 36 goal guy. Sure sure, injuries, lockout, blah blah blah, he’s got explanations, but we’re going to give $70M to a guy with explanations?

So in the past few months I’ve been scoffing at the notion that he’ll ever sign here. The fact that Nick Kypreos champions Montréal as his most likely destination confirms the outlandishness of Steven Stamkos in bleu blanc et rouge.

But I’ve also fretted that if it comes true, if we win this lottery, it’ll be more of one of those robocall grand prizes, where you win a trip to Hawaii, but first you have to pay $400 in taxes and fees, and give them your account information and personal info so they can arrange a direct deposit.

So in this light, Steven Stamkos’ blood clot issue, instead of being another red flag, is almost a parachute, an easy way out, à la Mike Richards or Nathan Horton. If after three or four years, his production has fallen off a cliff, we can kovalchuk him, and we’d still have to pay him, but it’d wipe the salary cap slate clean. We could go back to the well for another free agent saviour.

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