The first domino in what promises to be a busy — and potentially defining — Lightning offseason is the future of captain Steven Stamkos.

"Obviously Stammer's situation has a significant impact on what we do moving forward, and what we can do," general manager Steve Yzerman said.

And that's why Yzerman said Monday he hopes to have some clarity by this weekend on Stamkos, 26, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

"We're doing all we can to sign him," Yzerman told the Tampa Bay Times. "For us, we'd like to know sooner than later."

Stamkos can begin to talk with other teams Saturday, when a week-long interview period opens, and Yzerman would like to have a clear idea of "where we are" before that.

That could make this weekend's NHL draft, Friday and Saturday in Buffalo, even more interesting.

"At some point on other players, I have to make decisions, whether it'd be restricted free agents, or potential trades or qualifying offers and things like that," Yzerman said. "I've got to make decisions and they can't be put off forever."