Steven Stamkos Staying in Tampa Bay

In what has become one of the most eventful days for the NHL in recent memory, TSN Insider Bob McKenzie is reporting that Steven Stamkos has chosen to stay in Tampa Bay.

Speculation on where Stamkos could end up has been circulating for months, with the Toronto Maple Leafs atop the list of suitors. In fact, reports earlier this afternoon had Stamkos meeting with the Leafs, as well as the mayor of Toronto and CEO of Canadian Tire. There’s no indication of how accurate that report was, or whether or not the two parties were involved in talks, but Stamkos has decided to stay put.

Stamkos’ new deal is for eight years and carries a cap hit of $8.5 million. A far stretch from the assumed annual value of $10 million or more that was expected if he did indeed reach the free agent market on July 1.

Stamkos has recorded 312 goals through 569 games since joining the Lightning in 2008. He ranks second to only Alexander Ovechkin in that regard.