The NHL's trade deadline is February 29. A lot of yapping and rumors are occurring as they always do. One of notice is the minor rumblings of the Vancouver Canucks being in the sweepstakes for Steven Stamkos. Take into account where a lot of this Stamkos "rumor" is coming from: the Tampa Tribune's Erik Erlendsson who states, in his list of Stamkos suitors:
The Canucks are stuck in the middle of a rebuilding phase while still trying to make the playoffs. But the Sedin twins, Henrik and Daniel, are 35 years old. Trading for Stamkos and signing him to an extension would allow Vancouver to remain a viable playoff contender — especially in the weak Pacific Division — while accelerating the rebuilding process.
Estimated available cap space: $3.3 million*
Really? That's your logic here?
Apparently an 8-year deal worth $8.5 million per season by the Lightning was rejected by the Stamkos camp weeks ago. So i guess Stammer is going for Jonathan Toews / Patrick Kane / Anze Kopitar kind of money ($10 million per season.) The 25-year-old Stamkos is currently making $7.5 million and his stats look like this:
That right there is a pretty big sign that the Canucks are likely not to pursue Stamkos at either the trade deadline or in free agency in July.
I would hate to know what Lightning GM Steve Yzerman is asking for in a trade. It's got to be a roster player, a top prospect and likely multiple top-round picks. Sorry, we are not interested. This Canucks team is re-tooling on the fly, not crapping away it's foreseeable future on a Brett Hull clone. (I say that with respect.)
Canucks' GM Jim Benning is waiting and seeing how the team does prior to the trade deadline. If they show signs of fail he will make trades.. But not of the Stamkos variety. He would have to give up too much. He would also have to shed a lot more than Dan Hamhuis' $4.5 million salary to keep the Canucks cap-compliant for the rest of the season (and yes, Stevie Y does like the Hammer.) Benning would have to unload a Ryan Miller, Alexandre Burrows or Radim Vrbata as well to make this happen. I guess you could argue that a Stamkos for Burrows/Vrbata/Hamhuis makes sense in our wishful thinking brains, but it doesn't because it puts Tampa way over the salary cap plus it won't even be close to what Stammer is worth.
We can almost likely take Stamkos, who has a full no-movement clause in his contract, at his word:
"My view hasn't changed, I want to win with Tampa. Obviously those questions will be asked. But I'm the captain of this team. I want to be with Tampa and win with this group. I've been with Tampa since Day 1, I've seen a lot of guys come and go. You saw what happened last year with this group. We want to get right back there.
My view hasn't changed on the fact I want to be with Tampa and win with this group. I don't think that's going to change between now and 30 days from now."
I know, you can't take anyone for their word in this business and anything can happen. This situation looks to resolve itself after the trade deadline.
Stamkos on a line with the Sedins would be absolute gold, make no mistake. Anybody would drool at the concept of it. Imagine the dollars there....a potential $24 million first line. Madness. It's likely not going to happen any time soon...or ever.