Erik Erlendsson covers the Tampa Bay Lightning for The Tampa Tribune.
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Stamkos coming, Vinny staying long term
Posted Jun 19, 2008 by Erik Erlendsson
Updated Jun 19, 2008 at 08:19 PM
OTTAWA - We are hours away now from Steven Stamkos officially becoming a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning when the team picks him with the first pick in the draft. That is not a surprise.
But other news surfaced up here today when I heard that Vinny Lecavalier was close to signing a long-term contract extension that will keep him in Tampa Bay likely for the rest of his career. I caught wind of this a couple of days ago that things were progressing well. Sources have told me that things have moved along well enough at this point, that shortly after July 1 - the earliest an extension can be signed under the terms of the CBA - something might be announced on this front. No word yet on terms, but Lecavalier is making just over $7 million this season and one would have to think that any new contract would be in the neighborhood of what Alex Ovechkin signed with Washington, somewhere in the $9 million average salary.
Stamkos, meanwhile, talked today extensively about the chance to play with Lecavalier along with Marty St. Louis and Dan Boyle. Sounds very relaxed, and considering there is very little drama surrounding where he might end up on draft day, it’s understandable. While the other top prospects are still undergoing interviews with teams, Stamkos is kind of soaking it all in, enjoying the moment. Even cracking jokes about his week-long “playoff’’ beard and getting cameo appearances for the next round of Saw movies included in his contract.
Couple of other notes of interest - heard that Len Barrie, the new co-owner of the Lightning - has put up as much as $30 million in cash as part of the sale and possibly as much as $90 million total. Those numbers caught me off guard. . . . John Tortorella might be one of the two finalists for the Atlanta Thrashers job. . . .
That’s all I’ve got for now, check back in tomorrow for the big night!!!!