They are two of the best and brightest young stars in the NHL, and both are locked deep in difficult contract negotiations with their teams after only their third season. One is Tampa Bay Lightning centre Steven Stamkos, the first overall pick in the 2008 draft who has already hit the 90-point mark twice, finishing fifth in league scoring in both his second and third seasons. The other is Los Angeles Kings defenceman Drew Doughty, taken right after Stamkos and considered one of the top 10 blueliners in the game, already earning a Norris Trophy nomination and winning gold with the Canadian Olympic team. Just 21 years old and set to be major contributors in the league for the next dozen years, Stamkos and Doughty would seem to be the perfect candidates for an offer sheet from another team. And yet general managers of the teams who could go that route appear to be relatively ambivalent about the possibility. "I have no comment on that," Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon said soon after spending more than $20-million in cap space on second- and third-tier players on July 1. "I don't contemplate doing one right now," Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke said earlier this week. Since former Detroit Red Wings star Sergei Fedorov received a six-year, $38-million offer from the Carolina Hurricanes in 1998, there have only been six offer sheets in the NHL – all of which have come in the past five summers and under the league's new collective agreement.
Cautious NHL bosses play nice on Stamkos, Doughty
The Globe and Mail | Jul 9