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Stamkos, Lightning have not begun contract talks

NHL.com @NHL

The Tampa Bay Lightning and captain Steven Stamkos have not started negotiations on a contract extension, agent Don Meehan told TSN on Wednesday.

Stamkos has one year remaining on his contract and could become an unrestricted free agent after the 2015-16 season.

"I don't think we have any criteria on timing, at this point in time," Meehan said. "I've mentioned to [Lightning general manager] Steve Yzerman that we're going to have a meeting with Steven, and then once we've had the meeting with Steven then I can go back to Steve.

"So he understands that and understands that Steven is just in the process of coming back home (to Toronto) and getting acclimatized here and getting into his training, and he understands the time frame in that respect."

Stamkos will make $5.5 million this season, with an NHL salary-cap value of $7.5 million, according to war-on-ice.com. He has said he likes playing for Tampa Bay.

"That stuff is going to take care of itself," Stamkos told the Tampa Bay Times on June 23, after the Lightning lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final. "It's a bigger story now that we went so deep and that everyone is expecting news right away. We literally just finished the toughest hockey we've played in our careers. We're going to relax a little bit. I'm going to go home this week, talk to who I need to talk to and go from there. I'm not losing any sleep over it."

Yzerman has said signing Stamkos to an extension was Tampa Bay's top offseason goal.

"We've got some other restricted free agents and other contracts we have to do, but that's the No. 1 priority," Yzerman said on June 17.

Stamkos was second in the NHL in the regular season with 43 goals in 82 games and had seven goals and 11 assists in 26 games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He did not score a goal in six games during the Final loss to the Blackhawks.

By way of comparison, Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews each signed an eight-year extension in July 2014, when each had one season left on his contract. The new deals were for $84 million and run through the 2022-23 season.

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby signed a 12-year, $104 million extension prior to the final year of his contract in June 2012 that runs through the 2024-25 season.

St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko signed an eight-year, $60 million contract this week as a restricted free agent.

"Any time that either management or the player's side is negotiating a contract, or dealing with issues like this, it's substantive, it's complicated, it's detailed, and it takes some time," Meehan said. "So for any decision that's to be made on behalf of either side, you need to take the right time and the right consideration and have the appropriate time for everybody to consider all the circumstances and talk about the issues."

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