Steven Stamkos Free Agent Landing Spots; Odds for Tampa Bay Lightning Star

Steven Stamkos Free Agent Landing Spots; Odds for Tampa Bay Lightning Star
By Jim Tomlin
Fact Checked by Thomas Leary

Steven Stamkos has been a subject of speculation in his native Ontario for pretty much half his life.

The captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning was born in Markham, but has played all 16 of his NHL seasons in west central Florida. Now at age 34, Stamkos is a free agent, with a shot at what will probably be his last big contract. covers topics of interest for Ontario sportsbooks customers, and the debate over what will happen with Stamkos will draw a lot of interest. We assembled these odds on where we think the forward will end up:

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Steven Stamkos Next Team Odds



Percent Chance

Tampa Bay Lightning



Detroit Red Wings



Montreal Canadiens



Nashville Predators



Toronto Maple Leafs



Anaheim Ducks



The Field



Will Steven Stamkos Stay With Tampa Bay?

These odds are not to be found with Ontario sports betting apps operators; they are exclusive to

Heading into the 2023-24 season, there were reports in Tampa Bay area media that the Stamkos camp was not pleased about the captain’s unresolved contract status. But the issue was put on the backburner and Stamkos had another outstanding season in the final year of an eight-year, $68 million contract. The two-time Stanley Cup winner scored 40 goals for the seventh time in his career and jumped into the top 30 on the all-time NHL list with 555 goals.

We rate the odds of him staying with the Bolts at -300 American odds, or a 75% implied probability. The Lightning were eliminated from the playoffs in five games against the Florida Panthers; see our Stanley Cup odds page to assess what prices the oddsmakers put on the eight remaining teams in the postseason.

Next on our list of possible suitors for Stamkos are the Detroit Red Wings (+1250 odds, or a 7.4% chance) and the Montreal Canadiens (+2000, 4.8%). It’s no secret why these two teams are logical candidates. Former Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman is now the Red Wings GM and executive vice president. And Montreal’s coach is none other than Stamkos’ buddy and former teammate, Martin St. Louis; last month, the Habs announced that St. Louis would remain in charge for at least three more seasons.

Can Maple Leafs Sign Stamkos?

The last time Stamkos had a contract decision to make, Canadian media outlets had a field day with the thought that he would come back to his native Ontario and join the Toronto Maple Leafs.

That’s possible again, and those doing hockey betting in Ontario will wonder about it. But we don’t rate this scenario as very likely – we give the Leafs +3000 odds (a 3.2% chance) to sign Stamkos, the same as the Nashville Predators and just ahead of the Anaheim Ducks (+3500, 2.8%). Any other outcome (“The Field”) comes in at +2500 odds.

There are a couple of reasons that Stamkos is unlikely to trade one dark blue sweater for another. As any Leafs fan knows, Toronto has salary cap issues just like Tampa Bay does. For this season, lists those two teams with the league’s highest cap hits after players on long-term injured reserve are factored out (the Leafs at $97.6 million USD, the Lightning at nearly $93.8 million). Those were two of six teams listed with zero cap space remaining.

And the Leafs won’t have much cap space for 2024-25, either, unless they let a lot of free agents walk. Toronto already has four forwards slated to have eight-figure cap hits – see our Mitch Marner trade rumours story for analysis on one of them. The others are Auston Matthews, John Tavares and William Nylander.

Would, or should, the Leafs bring aboard another big-money forward, one who would likely slot in on the second line as he mostly has for the past few seasons with Tampa Bay? Again according to, all of the Leafs forwards who played for the team this season, and are either restricted or unrestricted free agents in this offseason, are 29 or younger. Would Toronto choose to keep some of them more cheaply, or give Stamkos a big, probably long-term payday knowing that he’ll turn 35 in February?

As for the current Stanley Cup favorites, Caesars Ontario Sportsbook has the New York Rangers at +400 odds as of May 8, followed by the Edmonton Oilers (+425) and Colorado Avalanche (+450).

USA Today photo by Kim Klement Neitzel

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Jim Tomlin is an editor and writer specializing in sports, gambling and the intersection of those industries. He has 30+ years of journalism experience and his work has appeared in the Tampa Bay Times, FanRag, Saturday Down South and Saturday Tradition.

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