The Nashville Predators Went Absolutely Ballistic In The First Day Of Free Agency By Signing Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Marchessault, and Brady Skjei

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It was just 8 years ago that everyone thought the Steven Stamkos era in Tampa was coming to an end. He was in the prime of his career, but were the Lightning going to give him the money to keep him in Tampa when teams like Toronto were ready to unload the $10M AAV bag? Ultimately it ended up going down right before Stamkos hit the unrestricted market, and he signed an 8-year deal at $8.5M AAV thanks to no state income tax in Florida. Coincidentally, it went down on the same day that PK Subban was traded for Shea Weber, as well as Taylor Hall getting traded to New Jersey for Adam Larsson. June 29, 2016 was a wild day for hockey. 

So here we are 8 years and 2 Stanley Cups later. Steven Stamkos has set the record for most goals and points scored in Tampa Bay Lightning history. He also has the current record for most games played in a Lightning sweater for the moment, but Victor Hedman will end up passing that this upcoming season. He's accomplished everything that the Lightning could have ever asked from him, but the business side of the game doesn't give a shit about that. Tampa didn't bother to make the cap space to offer Steven Stamkos what he's worth, so now the Stammer era in Florida is over. 

Clearly moving on from Tampa wasn't Stamkos' first option, but clearly the front office doesn't really give a dick about keeping legends around to make them Bolts for life. Guys like Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier all ended their careers elsewhere, and now so will Stammer. 

But that's great news for the Nashville Predators who get to swoop in there and add a 40-goal scorer to their roster. Stamkos might be 34 right now but he's had a combined 270 points over the last 3 seasons. He is undoubtedly worth the $8M cap hit for the next few years, especially considering it looks like the Predators are going all in on these next few seasons being their window to get it done. 

Stamkos is a 2x Stanley Cup champion. Jonathan Marchessault is a Stanley Cup champ and a Conn Smythe winner. He'll be heading to Nashville on a 5x$5.5M AAV deal. He also put up 42 goals last season. And while they're adding 80 goals worth of offense to the roster, the Preds are also adding to the blueline. 


This is a team that went to the Cup Final in 2017, but hasn't had an ounce of success since. They've lost in the first round of the playoffs in 5 of the last 6 seasons, and failed to make the playoffs in the other. They were a team that seemed like were going to be legitimate contenders for years to come, but it just never worked out for them. So they went absolutely ape shit today, spent over $100 million, and now have the next few years to see if it was all worth it. 

Sidenote: Crazy to think that Nashville still didn't even come close to making the best deal of the day.