Tampa Bay isn't trading Stamkos. If someone else signs him to an offer sheet, the Lightning will match.
Either way, Stamkos will not be leaving Tampa Bay any time soon. Just because they're negotiating a contract and they're still fairly far appart, it doesn't mean they're forced to trade the guy.
When do arbitration rights kick in? If Stamkos doesn't want to sign a deal right now, he can't be forced to do so - so does the club just need to give him a qualifying offer? But then that's just 1 or 2 years right? (a little fuzzy on how that works for guys coming off their ELCs)
As for the people saying it will make our RFAs targets - IMO, all RFAs should be targets. If you have a player that is in your future plans, you ensure that you get them locked up before it is even possible to offer sheet them.
IMO we'd be so much better having this conversation about Weber. Offer a deal of Gagner, Omark, 2012 1st and 2013 1st. That deal would be even more tempting to them, as Gagner and Omark would likely be better players than the 2014/2015 picks they would get in an offer sheet (assuming we're contending those years).
If they could pull off that deal and sign Laich? Push Khabi on Florida and sign Vokoun There is drool on my keyboard.
Smyth Horcoff Hemsky
Hall RNH Eberle
Paajarvi Laich Jones
Hartikainen VV/Cogs Tyrvainen
I think we might see some significant moves. Too many offensive minded forwards, not enough physicality and defence. If the Oilers are going to be tougher to play against, they need to improve those two areas. And I think Tambo knows that.
I think that if you are paying one of your players that much, then you are not building a Stanley cup team. You need a more balanced lineup. What if Hall turns into a better player then Stamkos? What are you going to pay him then? I think that we have the young offensive future stars that we need. If we are going to offer sheet anyone it should be someone like Doughty or Weber, although it would probably have to be an overpay and I would prefer we keep the salary structure under control. The Oilers should get Peckham & Smid signed asap. They are the only grit we have on the back end. They might want to re-sign Vandermeer as well unless they are planning to get some more toughness in the lineup from elsewhere.
we all know a player doesn't have to sign the offer sheet, right? WE can fax the offer to SAtmkos over and over and over and over again until the fax machine burns up.... he still doesn't have to sign the piece of paper.
I'm fairly certain that was said about hemsky last year, at least, that he was starting to lose the baby-fat on the face and looked as strong as he's ever been, etc.
It might be different this year, don't really know until he stays healthy.
In fairness, i think that Hemsky when he was healthy last year played the best overall hockey of his career, he was even dishing out hits on occassion so i wouldn't be surprised if he was in the best shape of his career going into last season.