Let the Steven Stamkos Sweepstakes begin

Stamkos (Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

Stamkos (Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

The Tampa Bay Lightning were eliminated by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Final last night (GO SHARKS!), meaning the Steven Stamkos Sweepstakes is officially on. Regardless of how unlikely the Rangers are to get him, he is the biggest megastar to hit the UFA market in modern history.

For more on how him becoming a Ranger is near impossible read this.

The Money

Here’s what we know so far. Back in January, Stamkos rejected an 8 year offer from the Lightning for 68M (8.5 AAV). Tax gurus estimated due to no Florida Income Tax that deal would be around 10M in NY. Many experts predict he will become the NHL’s highest paid player at 11-12M per season.

The Blood Clot

The big concern for many teams will be his recent injury. Towards the end of the regular season, Stamkos was diagnosed with a blood clot and had to have surgery in order to save his life. According to Dr. Asad Swar, Stamkos suffered from Vascular Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, also known as Effort Thrombosis.

Basically, he experienced swelling in his arm and tingling in his hand. This is due to the vein over the rib rubbing and causing it to be come coarse. According to Dr. Swar that is a perfect condition for a clot. The surgery likely entailed the removal of Stamkos’ top rib which was rubbing against the vein.

According to the doctor, this is a common injury with athletes, especially baseball players. Per one medical paper, full recovery is typically complete within 3 months of the operation, and a return to previous levels of functional activity can usually be expected.

The Sweepstakes

Now the fun begins. ESPN’s Craig Custance wrote about Stamkos last night.

[su_quote cite=”Craig Custance via Spector’s Hockey” url=”http://spectorshockey.net/nhl-rumor-mill-may-27-2016/”]Regarding Stamkos, who’s a pending UFA, Custance believes he’ll have to accept less than market value, maybe a lot less, to re-sign with the Lightning.[/su_quote]

The Top 5 Teams in on Stamkos

  1. Toronto Maple Leafs
  2. Buffalo Sabres
  3. Detroit Red Wings
  4. Philadelphia Flyers
  5. New York Islanders

Darkhorses

  1. Montreal Canadiens
  2. Vancouver Canucks
  3. New York Rangers

Enjoy the fun.