Rumors: Ladd, Byfuglien and Stamkos

On the Winnipeg Jets …

  • Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun: Wiebe thinks the Jets need to make their best offers to pending UFAs Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien. If they can’t find a common ground, GM Kevin Cheveldayoff needs to start listening to one or both of them. The Jets have RFAs that they need to re-sign as well, but they the UFAs need to be dealt with first.Wiebe thinks that Byfuglien is probably looking for a contract similar to Mark Giordano and Brent Seabrook – six to eight years and over $6.75 million per season.GM Cheveldayoff may have to act before the trade deadline. If they remain unsigned after January 1st, why wouldn’t a player wait an extra months and see what other offers are out there.

On the Tampa Bay Lightning …

  • Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times: Back in June, GM Steve Yzerman said his No. 1 priority was to sign Steven Stamkos to an extension. Six months later, Stamkos remains unsigned and nothing appears to be close.

    This has an eerie feel to it, to the point the once unthinkable seems increasingly possible: Stamkos could be in his final few months in a Lightning uniform.

    The longer he remains unsigned, the more of a problem it could be for the Lightning. If Yzerman realizes that he can’t re-sign Stamkos, does he look to trade him at the deadline instead of losing him for nothing in the offseason? Stamkos has a no-movement clause, and would he approve a trade?

    Stamkos could warrant an eight-year, $84 million deal, but can the Lightning afford to give a deal that big.

    Pierre McGuire on the situation.

    “The longer you go along, the questions start to be more about an individual than about the team,” McGuire said. “And when that starts to happen, it affects the fiber of the team. … You try to get these done, put to bed sooner rather than later, and if you can’t, then at some point you’re in a precarious position.

    “It’s a tricky thing, especially as you get closer and closer to January, only because the media scrutiny is going to be out there more and more, especially from Canadian cities to cities that think, ‘Maybe if Steven Stamkos ever becomes an unrestricted free agent, we have a chance to get him.’ That’s a difficult thing because players start to wonder, ‘Is he one of us or someone else?’ “

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