Steven Stamkos calls out Maple Leafs stars greed for lack of success

Graham Montgomery
May 2, 2024  (8:18 PM)

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos celebrating a goal
Photo credit: Sportsnet

The Tampa Bay Lightning have been eliminated this year but luckily their fans still have multiple Stanley Cups to enjoy. Following their elimination, Steven Stamkos talked about why they have been so successful, calling out Maple Leafs stars including Auston Matthews in the process.

With the Lightning season coming to an end, all eyes have turned to the captain, Steven Stamkos. After all, he is on an expiring contract and there has been much speculation about whether or not he would re-sign with the team this summer. During his exit interview, he implied that he would be willing to accept a discounted contract to stay with the team, making a comparison to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the process. He credits the fact that his teammates have all been willing to accept less money in order to win as the foundation of their success in recent years. The Leafs, on the other hand, have taken the opposite approach with their star players.
"I think that has been a part of everyone's thought process in the core group of guys that we have had here in terms of what guys have taken over the years to stay here. I understand the tax advantage and that type of thing. Kuch is making $9.5. That is probably grossly underpaid in terms of what guys are getting now. Vasy. Pointer with 40 or 50 goals every year. You look at Matthews. What did he sign for? $13.5 or something? Heddy is making under $8 million. That is grossly underpaid if you look at what he has done. That is what everyone has done here and that is why we have had the success and that is the way it has been for this organization. I think that that in itself is a testament to management in how they want to build a team and, first and foremost, the players for wanting to do that and accept that and allow the management to go out there and build a roster to compete for the Stanley Cup. I think that's just always been the way it's been here"

This quite could be taken as a good sign for Bolts fans as it seems to hint at the fact that a contract extension may be on the table. It sounds like he would be willing to accept another home town discount to keep the band together.
True or False: Steven Stamkos will play his entire career with the Tampa Bay Lightning. ✍️

Stamkos is a pending UFA and has spent his entire 16-year career with the Lightning. #GoBolts

Head coach Jon Cooper didn't seem to be too worried about the situation in his exit interview either. He seemed to imply that the team knows where they are at with Stamkos in terms of contract negotiations and there seems to be a plan in place. A plan that would likely see Stamkos finish out his career with the Lightning.
Cooper on "the elephant in the room" aka the future of Steven Stamkos: "I don't know if I call it an elephant in the room. I think, on the outside, it gets looked at more than what we feel on the inside so there is more speculation than what is going on with us"

The team will lose their rights to Stamkos on July 1st, so look for the team to sign an extension with him before then if that is indeed the plan. If not, we very well could be looking at a new era of Lightning hockey.
Source: MapleLeafsDaily
Steven Stamkos fires shot at Auston Matthews and the Maple Leafs
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Steven Stamkos calls out Maple Leafs stars greed for lack of success

Do you think the Toronto Maple Leafs can win a Stanley Cup with their current core making as much money as they do against the salary cap?

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