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Lightning GM: Steven Stamkos will not be traded before deadline

Steve Yzerman says Steven Stamkos will not be traded prior to the Feb. 29th deadline.
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Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman says star forward Steven Stamkos will not be traded prior to the Feb. 29th deadline.

“As February 29th approaches, I am stating today that Steven Stamkos will not be traded before the NHL’s trade deadline,” Yzerman said in a statement. “I have said repeatedly that it is our hope to reach an agreement with Steven on a new contract at some point, and with 27 games remaining in the season, our entire organization, Steven included, wants to focus on making the playoffs. I will keep the negotiating process strictly between the involved parties and have no further comment on the state of those negotiations.”

Stamkos' contract includes a no-trade clause that he would have to waive. If the Lightning fail to reach a contract extension with Stamkos before the trade deadline, they would risk losing him at the end of the season when his contract expires, permitting him to enter free agency. 

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Stamkos is in the final year of his five-year, $37.5 million contract. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane lead the NHL with salary cap hits of $10.5 million, but it is believed the Lightning captain could surpass that in free agency.

Stamkos has 22 goals and 20 assists in 55 games this year.