The Lightning and Steven Stamkos have agreed to terms on an eight-year contract extension, Stamkos confirmed on Twitter.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports the deal is worth an average of $8.5 million per season.
Stamkos, 26, was taken by Tampa Bay with the No. 1 pick in the 2008 draft. Since then, he’s tallied 562 points (312 goals, 250 assists) and won two Maurice Richard trophies in eight seasons.
The goal-scoring center was supposed to be the biggest name on the free agent market this off-season; several teams had begun to clear cap space in the hopes of landing him.
The league’s free-agent interview period began on Saturday. Teams will be allowed to sign players beginning on Friday at noon.