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Published Time: 01.07.2024 - 18:14:24 Modified Time: 01.07.2024 - 18:14:24

"You always think that something's going to work out but this morning when I woke up, we knew we were going to make a decision to be somewhere else and that was exciting for my wife and I and our kids and family,” Stamkos told TSN. “And like I said, just to have a team show as much interest as Nashville did with how excited they were with the possibility of me coming. Steven Stamkos, Stamkos, jonathan marchessault, NHL free agency, free agency nhl, Nashville Predators, nhl free agency 2024, Marchessault, Brady Skjei, free agents nhl 2024



Mark LoMoglio/NHLI

Stamkos then led Tampa Bay with five goals in its first-round series against the Florida Panthers, which the Lightning lost in five games.

"You always think that something's going to work out but this morning when I woke up, we knew we were going to make a decision to be somewhere else and that was exciting for my wife and I and our kids and family,” Stamkos told TSN. “And like I said, just to have a team show as much interest as Nashville did with how excited they were with the possibility of me coming.

"It just made us feel really special and really good. It made that decision that much easier."

Predators GM Barry Trotz said Stamkos is exactly the type of player the Predators need.

“When I became GM of the Predators, I said many times that I was looking to add ‘serial winners’ to our franchise, and there is perhaps no one who fits that mold more than Steven Stamkos,” Trotz said. “We’re incredibly excited to sign a Hall of Fame player and person on what is now a massive day for the future of our organization. Having twice won the Stanley Cup as a captain, Steven is a proven winner and leader who will make us a better team on the ice with his production and in the locker room as someone for our younger players to learn from.”

NHL Tonight talks the Predators additions

Stamkos was not the only big move made by the Predators on Monday. Forwards Jonathan Marchessault, who won the Cup with the Vegas Golden Knights in 2023, signed a five-year, $27.5 million contract ($5.5 million AAV), Alexandre Carrier signed a three-year, $11.25 million contract ($3.75 million AAV), and defenseman Brady Skjei signed a seven-year, $49 million contract ($7 million AAV).

Marchessault, an original member of the Golden Knights, said he was "disappointed" he could not re-sign with Vegas, but told TSN, "I turned the page an hour ago. We move on. A new chapter, a new challenge for me and my family."

Stamkos signed an eight-year, $68 million contract ($8.5 million average annual value) on June 29, 2016 and was eligible to sign a new contract with Tampa Bay last season.

"Steven's earned the right to test free agency," Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois said. "I didn't go to him last season to get a deal done. I did go to him quickly after this season, and I was taking a risk by doing that that we may end up here, and now here we are. And to be fair, I think both parties have tried to get a deal done up to this point. We just haven't been able to yet."

The No. 1 pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, Stamkos has 1,137 points (555 goals, 582 assists) in 1,082 games over 16 seasons, all with the Lightning ranking first in points, goals, games, power-play goals (214), game-winning goals (85) and overtime goals (13) in team history.

He won the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy for most goals in a season twice (51 in 2009-10, and 60 in 2011-12) and led the Lighting to back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 2020 and 2021.

"At the end of the day, winning is still what fuels me," Stamkos said May 1. "Being a big part of that culture fuels me. Obviously, certain things have changed now; I have an amazing young family that has put roots down in this city and really enjoy living here and playing here. From that perspective the decision is more than just me now, and that's something that is amazing for me to have that and be in that situation.

"There's different factors than there were last time, but nothing's really changed in terms of my mindset and where I wanted to be and play, and that was here. So, that certainly hasn't changed."

Since entering the NHL, Stamkos is second in goals, behind only Alex Ovechkin (690) and fourth in points, behind Sidney Crosby (1,302), Ovechkin (1,240) and Patrick Kane (1,212).

"When you don't have control of the situation, you just have to come to terms with that," Stamkos said. "For sure, there were times throughout the year you think those things in private conversations with friends and family and mentors and things like that, but for me, I tried to leave that at home and when I came to the rink it never crossed my mind.

Stamkos is third in playoff points (101) and assists (51), second in goals (50) and fifth in games (128) in Lightning history.

"He belongs here. We know it, he knows it," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said April 29. "We've grown up together, he's a heck of a player, but he's also … I mean, he controls his own destiny, but I don't know what's going to happen. But he feels like a Bolt for life, but only he and Julien can answer that one."

Marchessault, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the MVP of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, had 69 points (42 goals, 27 assists) last season and four points in seven playoff games.






























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