Steve Yzerman just capped off what has to be one of the best weeks so far in Tampa Bay Lightning history. It all started Wednesday afternoon when the news of the Steven Stamkos signing was released. 8 Yr/$68 Million. There was a big sigh of relief as the news made it way through the Bay Area. The captain , leading scorer, and the face of the franchise would be here another 8 years to chase the Stanley cup.
Most of us had not even came down off cloud 9 when it was announced that Victor Hedman had signed a 8/yr $63 million. Then later in the day, the commitment to Andrei Vaselivskiy 3/years $10 Million. Although there is still work to do especially with Kucherov this was a fanatastic week for Lightning fans everywhere.
In this day of greed and athletes chasing the almighty dollar, it was refreshing to hear that Stamkos say that he wanted to stay here. This is his home, where he grew up, where he became a captain and a world class hockey player. We will never know if Stamkos actually took a hometown discount to stay with the Lightning, but at crunch time he wanted to stay in Tampa and he made sure his agent got the deal done.
This week is where Yzerman earned his salary, and why he is the best GM in the NHL. There is still work to be done but based on his track record, I have all the confidence in the world that Yzerman can close the deal with Kucherov, Johnson, Palat, mad make the best of the Ben Bishop saga about to unfold.
–With Bucs Training camp 4 weeks away, 3 Bucs made the top 100 players of 2016 according to NFL.com DL Gerald McCoy is no. 41, RB Doug Martin is No. 85, and LB Lavonte David falls to 91. All 3 layers underachieved last year and should have been ranked higher. I’m expecting Mcoy to have double digit sacks, Martin to become the all time Rushing leader, and David to become a leader on the defensive side of the ball.
A couple of other Bucs to watch and who should be on the list next year. Jameis Winston, who knows How he did’nt make the list this year. LB Kwon Alexander and G Ali Marpet should also be on the list next season.
College Football 24/7 just released its list projecting the top 100 rookies of 2016. 3 Bucs make the list. CB Vernon Hargraves at #8. DE Noah Spence at #21, and K Robero Aguayo is #59. Jared Goff the No. 1 pick of the Los Angeles Rams is rated #1.
–Check back Wednesday as I will break down the Rays and tell you why this may be one of the worst Rays teams in their History.