Loc: In bed with Debby
It appears that Steven Stamkos will be staying in Tampa Bay for the foreseeable future.
According to the St. Petersburg Times, the 21-year old forward, who is set to become a restricted free agent on July 1, believes he is nearing a deal with the club that drafted him first overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
"I think it's close," Stamkos told the Times. "I don't think it's far off. As close as we are, it's not something I'm really worried about."
Stamkos also said that he thinks that his agents will meet Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman at this weekend's Entry Draft.
The Times speculates that the new contract could be worth around $7 million a season.
"Tampa is a great organization," Stamkos said. "With the success we had this year, there are only going to be bigger and better things.
"You want to be part of that. Whatever happens happens, but I have confidence things are going to get done well before (July 1)."
By signing Stamkos, who has scored 96 goals in the last two seasons, the Lightning will avoid the chance that another team would sign their star player to an offer sheet.