Could the Carolina Hurricanes realistically make a move for Stamkos?
The Athletic marked Steven Stamkos as a potential trade candidate for the Tampa Bay Lightning’s cap issues. Could the Carolina Hurricanes make a move for him?
This is absolutely unthinkable in any other year. But it’s really a rumor surfacing. The Tampa Bay Lightning have reportedly asked Steven Stamkos to waive his No Movement Clause. This was unimaginable 18 months ago. It looks like the Tampa Bay Lightning is attempting to move on from their captain because of the flat cap.
Stamkos has suffered an injury-riddled campaign with the Bolts. Appearing in only 57 games for the Lightning this year, Stamkos still recorded 29 goals and 37 assists for 66 points this year. It really does speak to his talent levels when he is in the lineup being a very valuable player.
However, one of the major issues regarding Steven Stamkos is his constant injury issues. Since the 2015-16 season, Stamkos had only played a full 82 games on one occasion. That was in the 2018-19 season when Tampa Bay was one of the best teams ever to take to the ice. To be fair, he’s only been below a point per game in one of these seasons and that was back in 2015-16.
A two-time Rocket Richard winner, Stamkos is the living embodiment of the answer to Carolina’s scoring woes. A right-handed monster with a shot capable of beating any goaltender on earth, there’s a lot of reason to believe the Canes could very well be interested in this player. Everything Stamos plays with is something Carolina needs. Right down to the first period in the Cup final Stamkos played and scored in.
So why would Tampa Bay want to move a former 1st overall pick like Stamkos? Simply put, the NHL Salary cap is a heartless beast. Built to rip all the best teams apart and encourage parity across the league. Tampa finally gathered their championship, but with three major RFA’s still not signed, money needs to be moved and Stamkos’ $8,500,000 is a nice sum of money to move only losing a single player.
So, what would a Stamkos to Carolina package look like? That is a question and a half.
To be honest, I have no idea. Presumably, Tampa Bay would want futures and young roster players in order to get under the salary cap. I’d assume the starting point would be a 2021 1st round pick, coupled with maybe Ryan Suzuki and Jamieson Rees? There would need to be more added. This type of trade is hardly ever made anymore.
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Now, it’s important to note that this is highly unlikely. Carolina is close to the cap ceiling themselves, that extra 8.5 million dollar cap isn’t something they can just eat and be quite content with. It would likely have the domino effect of forcing other players out. Potentially someone like Jordan Staal or Nino Niederreiter.
Yes, people aren’t going to want to lose the team’s captain, but it’s not like Stamkos isn’t Tampa Bay’s captain or anything.
It’s very unlikely Stamkos is moved. It’s unprecedented to see a premier player like Stamkos moved in the modern era. So forgive me if you disagree with the valuation. It’s incredibly likely that nothing materializes from this trade.
Knowing my luck, this will be published and Tampa will announce they have their own cap ceiling or some voodoo. But the idea of Stamkos in Raleigh is just something to enjoy.