Canucks Army Free Agent Profiles: Steven Stamkos

Steven Stamkos, defiant to the last minute, returned from a horrifying, potentially life-threatening blood clot injury to play for the Tampa Bay Lightning in their game seven loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals. It could very well be his final game as a Bolt.

The former first overall selection, four-time All-Star and four-time 40-plus goal scorer (once 60) is set to hit unrestricted free agency on July 1st. Once Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi secured Anze Kopitar’s services well into the next decade, that made Stamkos the unquestioned prize of his free agent class. That fact is likely to manifest itself in a sea of suitors followed by a lucrative contract that might run the millions into double-digits annually.

Most are operating on the assumption that the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning are the preeminent head of the pack, but I wouldn’t rule out the field. Is there a team in the league that wouldn’t benefit from adding Stamkos to their lineup? Probably not and you can count the Vancouver Canucks among the more needy of the lot. Let’s see if there’s a match.

HERO Chart:

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Career Statistics:

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(Image from

The Scouting Report:

Stamkos is, inarguably, the best pure sniper in the entire league. He’s carried an even-strength shooting percentage of 15.9 over the last six seasons and I’m fairly confident at this stage that he’s cleared the threshold for luck and laid claim as the league’s best finisher. Further to that point, Stamkos is scoring 1.36 goals at even strength over that time span, good for first in the league. 

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If there’s any one area of Stamkos’ game that lags behind his peers, it’s his ability to contribute in the defensive zone. Stamkos has a largely negative impact on the Lightning’s shot and goal suppression, which is worth taking into account in the grand scheme of things. He’s a very one-dimensional player, though that one dimension is exceedingly important and he’s exceptionally good at it.

The Fit:

Are you fielding an NHL Team? Because if so, you qualify for adding Stamkos to your lineup. It really is that simple. If you don’t have the room, you make it. If you don’t have the cap space, you create it. And if you don’t have the dollars, you find them.

It isn’t often that a 26-year-old centre in the middle of their prime hits the open market. There’s a good reason for that. To qualify for unrestricted free agency that age, you have to have played NHL games at 18-years-old. That’s usually a pretty good sign. Like, top three talent in your draft good. Those are exactly the type of players you try to build your team around.

The Canucks have the middle of their lineup set going into next season. Though, it could very reasonably be argued that most, if not all of their centres are playing a spot in the depth chart above their pay grade. Consider Stamkos the great equalizer. The Sedins move to the second line, Brandon Sutter to the third and so on. This team becomes legitimately competitive overnight.


The Canucks can undo a world of negative publicity in an instant. All they have to do is sign Steven Stamkos. Easier said than done, right? It’s not impossible to imagine, though. Not by any means. The Canucks have cap space. They can literally afford to offer a maximum dollar value deal and remain under the cap. That’s before Alexandre Burrows and or Chris Higgins get their walking papers.

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Adding a player like Stamkos will go a long way in fixing the Canucks even strength and power play offence, and for a team that struggled so mightily to score there’s no denying what an instant boost that would provide to their short-term goals of remaining competitive as they add long-term talent to the pool.

It’s not likely that the Canucks land Stamkos. Not by any stretch of the imagination. But they have the resources and there is absolutely a fit to be had. All they’ll have to do is convince him to spurn the team that drafted him, a best friend and his hometown team growing up. 

  • Cageyvet

    Sharing this link onward:

    Burns-Setoguchi trade good for both clubs
    Jun 24, 2011
    Pierre LeBrun

    HOME OFFICE, Toronto — When we last saw the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference finals, we left Rogers Arena in Vancouver thinking they had to make acquiring a top-four defenseman their top priority in the offseason.

    Well, that didn’t take long.

    Silky smooth offensive blueliner Brent Burns was acquired by the Sharks on Friday night, as San Jose sent winger Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle and its first-round pick (28th overall) to the Wild. Minnesota also traded its 2012 second-round pick as part of the deal.

    On the surface, it looks like the Sharks gave up a lot, but top-four, puck-moving blueliners who are 26 years old don’t come cheap. Burns has one year left on his deal, which carries a $3.55 million cap hit. His agent is Ron Salcer, who clashed with the Wild on Marian Gaborik. Wild GM Chuck Fletcher saw where this was headed and decided to get terrific value one year out.

    “The two hardest things to acquire in this business are center men and defensemen, and we’re fortunate to be very strong down the middle,” Sharks GM Doug Wilson told reporters at the draft in St. Paul, Minn. “We’ve been looking for a while to add defensemen. … When this type of guy does become available, it comes at a cost, and you don’t want to fill one hole and create another. We feel we’re a better hockey team today.”

  • Dirty30

    What would his motivation be to come play in Vancouver?

    He is with a team that came within a game of the Cup, and within a game of the finals this year.

    The Canucks would not be close to contending with him so he would play for money? A change of scenery?

    Does he want the intense scrutiny or the sickening travel? I don’t see a guy struggling with blot clots to be wanting to spend every second night flying to a game.

    He will make some team happy, but likely in the East where there is less travel.

    • Dirty30

      I don’t think anyone expects stamkos to actually come to the canucks. But damn would it be nice.

      And to expand on previous comment; potential for blood clots+plane travel=bad. As in you can die. Something to do with pressure changes making it more likely for them to happen.

      • Dirty30

        Maybe if there was some crazy Horvat & Baertschi for Drouin & Stamkos’ rights offer…

        But then what would CA become if the writers were once again optimistic?

        I much prefer when I have Gillis or Drance as character foils of delusion…

        • Spiel

          Why can’t you stay gone? We have enough idiots here and don’t need the king idiot as well. Go plague some other team that you ‘cheer’ for. Seriously, piss off.

          Sign Stamkos. Jersey #91 is available now.

      • Cageyvet

        Agree with you on the flying issue. Yes it would be nice to have Stamkos but because of that previous stated issue I fully expect him to be signed by New Jersey or a team out in that area as he can drive to half his away games.

  • “Stamkos has a largely negative impact on the Lightning’s shot and goal suppression, which is worth taking into account in the grand scheme of things. He’s a very one-dimensional player” – sounds simillar to that Gudbranson guy. By the new CA standarts – he’s a bum not worth of any attention. #sarcasm

  • It is not unrealistic that hes signs here. Money talks hes not a fan of the Tampa coach would play center here it would be his team when twins left. Tampas coach is more about the triplets and with drouins emergence they don’t need him.

  • he’s a great player and an absolutely terrible fit. add him to the sedins and the top three forwards on the team, while tough and determined, play soft and are questionable defensively. we can’t shelter three top minutes guys who play like that.

    assuming they played well together, imagine those three hemmed in their own end trying to stick check and getting knocked around? imagine it a lot.

    assuming they played separately, his line mates would have to key on him. so the top two lines would have to completely cater to veterans. that’s going to impact all our developing forwards.

    so long as we have the sedins, the other top six line needs to be physical enough to match up with top lines in our division.

  • Cageyvet

    Granted, Stamkos is an elite player, although I wouldn’t consider him an elite centre. Obviously Tampa Bay didn’t think so either as he spent most of the past year on the wing. However, the players skills are not the issue but rather the term and money we would have to pay in order to get him. No player on their own is going to turn the Canucks from a team barely making the play offs to a Stanley Cup contender. To think so is a pipe dream. Furthermore investing all that money in one player will eliminate any cap space we have and the team will stagnate because we won’t have any money to improve. If we could get him for $8M over 5 years then I would be fine with that but that is also a pipe dream. Let TO, Tampa Bay and Montreal fight over him.

  • Spiel

    Benning and Linden need to do the same thing the team did to sign Sundin. Offer the most money and most term. No one had Vancouver as a possible destination for Sundin, but it happened.

    I’d rather the Canucks spend $10M+ on Stamkos then $10M on some combination of Lucic and Ericsson/Ladd.
    My opening offer would be 8 years, $100M. Go up in dollars from there.

  • Hockey Warrior

    Ahh now THIS is more like it… great to see the site following my lead and talking about EXPERIENCED, PROVEN QUALITY UFA’S rather than overkill ramblings about unproven, inexperienced kids who may or may not pan out by the time they rebuild Fort McMurray! (McCann, Shink, Kassian, Hodgson anyone)

    Now, first of all STAMMER is that elite player that this franchise needs and he will easily recoup his price tag through shirt sales and SEASON TICKETS alone – remember folks, bums on seats are all that matter to the Aquaman.

    Of course, the usual plastic fans here are bleating “he won’t come”… but of course most of them weren’t around when one MARK MESSIER arrived on a private jet many moons ago while we all looked on in stunned disbelief LOL.

    Secondly, Stamkos’ injury problems (the blood clot and that bad knee trashing) coupled with the fact that he has NOT won a cup like Kane Toews – Crosby Malkin mean he gets 9 mill US TOPS on a five year NTC deal on my team.

    Lastly, as RYAN KESLER will begrudgingly attest (grumble), in todays salary cap/draft lottery NHL it is impossible to pick a team to win the Stanley Cup cup on… Pittsburgh and San Jose have proven it (NO ONE picked that as a final) the days of Coiler/Isles type dynasty’s are over so you go where the money, lifestyle and selling of a dresm takes you, see… over to you LUC, OKPO and STAMMER (C) 🙂

    • Cageyvet

      Messier came here because he was a self-centered douche who wanted the money and his ego needed the C on his sweater as well. I can’t believe you would refer to that debacle as a positive.

      Then again, your arrogance matches his, so perhaps you still pine for the Messier days – you know, the ones where that proven UFA disrupted the team, wasted cash, and we still missed the playoffs every year he was here.

      At least that was before the cap era, so the money didn’t hamstring us so much. Stamkos is no Messier, and he would undoubtedly help this team, as he’s not well past his prime, but as usual your take on what this team should do can’t be taken seriously, your projected lineups are all from the land of tinfoil headgear.

      Sign Stamkos, Lucic, Erikkson, and if you don’t you’re all idiots! Yeah, whatever, anybody who thinks that free agents will just sign for the top dollar anywhere in the league is on glue. Geography and ability to compete are massive factors for UFAs like Stamkos, everybody wants them, so they will get the money no matter what, now the other factors come into play.

      Just ask Edmonton, they have at various times been either a highly desirable place to play, or anathema, and it revolved around their current roster and ability to win. I don’t rate the Canucks chances very highly on this one.

      • Anyways the Messier debacle really got the groundwork started a year earlier when the Canucks wiffed on the Gretzky signing in 1996.

        It was like the canucks management at the time panicked because they were sick of being the bridesmaid and never a bride with high profile UFA’s at the time, so I think they courted public enemy #1 of 94 SCF like the second coming of Christ. He took the cheque, yanked the unofficial retirement of Wayne Maki’s #11, Linden’s C and led the Canucks to some of its darkest days of their history.

        However I disagree with one point – we had an internal cap because of a tight-pursed owner in the McCaw’s – who essentially reduced our chance to outpay some of the bigger budget teams like the Rangers. But the one time they went with a splash (Messier), it ultimately led to a charred mess (which we can call the late 90s rebuild) but did set in motion of obtaining some key pieces like Bert, Naslund.

        I agree that Stamkos can help any team, even the Canucks and its not all about the money. There are intangibles that affect UFA’s ultimate destination including the allure of playing for an original 6 team. And I think its a pipe dream of him signing here in vancouver.

  • Dirty30

    I think it’s extremely unlikely that the Canucks can sign him, but of course they should take a shot at it.

    Stamkos is the best shooter in the game and one of the few players you can build a team around. And all he costs is cap space.

    No brainer.

  • I would offer $10M per and 7yrs.

    Vancouver is more attractive than many think. Stamkos could be the cornerstone of our second line for now. This would give him a chance to settle in, get used to the team, and the city. This would take some of the pressure off, and allow him to ease his way in. Playing some games with the Sedins is a given. He could move up to the first line in his second year. We have enough cap space to sign an elite winger next year, to compliment Stamkos. The twins move to our second line the last year of their contract. We also have some great prospects joining us.

    We can offer good goaltending, a better defense, and quality forwards. We have the $ to make the deal. Also, Vancouver is a world class place to live.

    Vancouver should be his preferred destination.

  • Spiel

    Sure Stamkos is a great player who could help the Canucks immensely but his blood clot problems do present a pretty big risk towards his future playing ability to whatever team signs him. Here’s a link explaining his clot and the fact there is no guaranteed full recovery.
    There is a high reoccurance of clots in patients who have “effort thrombosis” which is what Stamkos has.

  • Hockey Warrior


    L-O-L Here he is folks the board whipping boy ‘Mangeyvet’ spouting off hot air as regular as the Gastown Steam Clock, missing the POINT and the BIGGER PICTURE as usual…

    Never mentioned the back story or legacy (good or bad) of the MESSIAH in Vancouver pal – I am diligently pointing out that IF one of the games greatest EVER (six cups you say, 2nd all time in points ya say?) landed in vancouver, then so can STEVEN STAMKOS. However, I will defend the honour of the MOOSE by blaming Mike Keenan for the ‘debacle’ that followed but that’s all ancient history so who cares (but you) old timer.

    YES, let’s sign PROVEN WINNERS, reward them handsomely (ain’t YOUR money bud) throw in a coupla superstars (bums on seats) sprinkle with a few decent young players and hire an NHL COACH and we can turn a 27th PLACE FINISH around as quick as you can say ‘SAN JOSE SHARKS’ eh

    My revised line up for next season is this

    G Andersen 2.2m
    Markstrom 1.6m (play both unless one excels)

    D Yandle 6m
    Tanev 3.5m

    Edler 6m
    Hutton 925 000

    Gudbranson 3.5m
    Tryamkin 925 000

    reserve 7 and 8th D Biega 700 Pedan 925

    Lucic 7m
    Stamkos 9m (C)
    Okposo 4m

    L2 SEDINERY LINE with manageable minutes
    Sedin 7m
    Sedin 7m
    Hansen 3m

    L3 SHUTDOWN LINE physical w net presence McGinn 4.25m
    Sutter 4.25m
    Virtanen 925 000

    L4 SPEED LINE with scoring upside
    Baertschi 900 000
    Horvat 833 000
    Etem 850 000

    THIS is a winning line up friends BELIEVE!

    • Cageyvet

      LOL, the board whipping boy, typically any one of your posts gets more down votes than all mine put together. In this case, it was probably actually the best post of your life, except mentioning Messier kind of blew it for you.

      Anyway, you always make my point for me, look at your line-up – it’s PlayStation time, because that’s the only place you can pluck players out of thin air, it’s not like this resembles the current line-up or you can make it happen.

      Let’s see – Andersen, Yandle, Lucic, Stamkos, Okposo, McGinn. Yes folks, the Hockey Moron has the answers, just somehow get everyone you want to come here without giving any rationale for how or why they’d end up on the team. Apparently we just have to make you the GM and all our wishes will come true.

      And I’m not that old, FYI, but I’m a damn sight smarter than you, that’s a guarantee.