Steven Stamkos re-signing with Lightning

AP file photo

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Lightning star Steven Stamkos says he’s staying in the Tampa Bay area.

“Excited to be back for 8 more years @TBLightning! Here we go,” the team’s centre and captain said on Twitter.

Stamkos, 26, will forego free agency. A native of Ontario, Stamkos is a four-time NHL All-Star. He’s twice been the NHL’s top scorer during his career.

The contract is for eight years. TSN reports there’s an annual average value of $8.5 million.

During the last regular season, Stamkos scored 36 goals and 64 points. He was first on the team in goals and second in points. His season ended early because of a blood clot. He missed all but one playoff game.

Stamkos joined the Lightning in 2008. He’s had 312 goals and 562 points during his NHL career, TSN reports.

Stamkos has skated in 49 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He’s had 15 goals and 35 points in those games.

“We are very appreciative of the effort and commitment that Steven and his representatives have exhibited in getting a deal done,” Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman said. “We are excited to have him as a cornerstone part of the team for the next eight years as we continue in the franchise’s ultimate goal of winning another Stanley Cup.”

Stamkos talked about the future.

“I am excited to move forward with the Lightning today for the next eight years,” he said. “It’s not often that a player gets the chance to spend his career in one organization and I am hopeful that this agreement sets me on that path with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Most importantly, I look forward to working with my teammates, coaches and our management in our pursuit of winning a Stanley Cup.”

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