One of the biggest questions of this summer surrounds the fate of Steven Stamkos. The biggest free agent to hit the market in some time, Stamkos would bring offensive firepower galore to whichever team is ready to back the Brinks truck up to his doorstep.
The Buffalo Sabres have been a rumored destination for Stamkos for months now, because of the close proximity to his hometown of Toronto, and because the Sabres are one of the few teams with plenty of salary cap space to work with. TSN's Darren Dreger was on TSN 690 radio in Montreal and added some big fuel to that fire earlier today.
First picked up by Chris Nichols of Today's Slapshot, here's what the TSN Insider had to say about Stamkos and Buffalo (emphasis ours):
There's a lot of speculation that they're going absolutely all-in on Steven Stamkos. I mean, some of the numbers being rumored - and I always hate throwing out or building off rumors, because as an Insider, our job is to separate fact from fiction. But Newport isn't talking and neither is the Tampa Bay Lightning, so nothing has changed there. But some of the numbers being speculated on are upwards of $12 million per year coming out of Buffalo.
That's a huge cap number for Stamkos, but one that the Sabres could afford...for now. Stamkos is a great player, but the obvious worry about signing him is that a massive contract like that could put the Sabres in cap trouble down the road, when presumably big contracts for Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart, Rasmus Ristolainen, and Jimmy Vesey (heyooo) will need to be inked.
Sabres GM Tim Murray has already made plenty of news this week, and certainly you'd think the team has looked into the future on this kind of thing, but is Stamkos in a Sabres uniform worth $12 million? That's something the team will need to decide next week.