Could Steven Stamkos be a Viable Option for the Chicago Blackhawks this Offseason?

Tampa Bay Lightning v Florida Panthers - Game One
Tampa Bay Lightning v Florida Panthers - Game One / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages

It's quite rare that a player of Steven Stamkos' caliber hits the open market. Not the trade market like a Seth Jones. Stamkos is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer (July 1st) barring an extension from the team that drafted him in 2008.

Currently on the last year of an eight year deal carrying an eight and a half million annual average value, Stamkos has long been on one of the more team friendly deals in the league. At 34 years old, the future Hall of Famer hasn't slowed down either. The last three seasons have been particularly impressive:

Steven Stamkos:

21-22 Season: 81GP / 42g-64a-106pts (17.4 shot percentage)

22-23 Season: 81GP / 34g-50a-84pts (14.2 shot percentage)

23-24 Season: 79 GP / 40g-41a-81pts (15.3 shot percentage)

That's (271 points in 241games) production that the league does not see often once a player passes by his 30th birthday. A former number one overeall selection, Stamkos could integrate with Connor Bedard (Stamkos can play center or wing) to give the young Blackhawk a true goal scoring threat instantly.

Steven Stamkos
Columbus Blue Jackets v Tampa Bay Lightning / Mike Carlson/GettyImages

The fact's actually start to add up when imagining Steven Stamkos not in a Lightning jersey. Stamkos will turn 35 a few months into next season and the Tampa Bay Lightning are likely not looking to sign any long term deals at the moment. Brandon Hagel's extension kicks in next year and adds in an extra five million to their cap already. Stamkos included, Tampa Bay could see up to seven UFA players that are looking to either re-sign or look towards a new team. The money that Stamkos deserves and what would be offered by the home team will ultimately not be fair to the long time captain.

Steve Yzerman, their former GM and currently with the Red Wings, signed two (of term) deals with Steven Stamkos. The first deal was in the summer of 2011 (five year deal at seven and half million per) and then the eluded to deal he is finishing after the playoffs are over. Both deals are under valuing his production. So will the love of the city and his comfort play a factor? Absolutely it will, as evidence of him staying for a second term (almost left however). Still, would an extra year or two in term, a couple extra million per season, and the ability to play with a young up and coming team entice him to leave this time around? We at Blackhawk Up think the answer is yes.

Kyle Davidson is playing it safe at the moment, but eventually the check book will have to come out. Steven Stamkos is a player that is special and has shown over the last three seasons to be amongst the league's best forwards. If presented with a three year thirty million dollar deal, a deal that has eluded him his entire career (the ten million aav mark), Steven Stamkos could very well come to Chicago.

When was the last time the Blackhawks signed a forty goal scorer who was over thirty years old in free agency? 🧐 Yep, that guy ⬇️

Marian Hossa
Pittsburgh Penguins v Chicago Blackhawks / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

The Blackhawks have the rare ability, at the moment, to overpay to get the players they want. Stamkos and the Lightning are snonymous with one another, but as we all know it's unlikely these days that a player only plays for one team for their entire career. Could Chicago make a play here? Tune in July 1st to find out.