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Free Agent Frenzy: Steven Stamkos Would Be a Hit in Chicago

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You don’t really expect him hit free agency, do you? After all, Steven Stamkos has been signed at the 11th hour before, when he re-signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning back in 2016. It was ever so close as suitors lined up–and yet he never got there.

So what about this year–could it be any different? What if Stamkos does hit free agency. Should–and would–the Blackhawks be interested?

They should be–he would solve a number of issues on the roster.

But could it actually work out?

Blackhawks Get an Immediate Upgrade with Steven Stamkos

For a team starved for goal scoring, Stamkos would help in that department immediately. Stamkos buried 40 goals last season, and produced just over a point-per-game in 79 games (40-41) to give him 81 for the season.

His numbers have dipped since his 104 point season back in 2021-22, but that’s to be expected as he’s approaching 35 years of age. But what he would bring to Chicago in terms of leadership, scoring, and a Stanley Cup pedigree–talk about an immediate upgrade.

The next step of it of course: would Steven Stamkos actually leave Tampa Bay?

The Blackhawks need to take a big jump and Stamkos would help there. But it would be another playoff-less season unless general manager Kyle Davidson goes on a wild shopping spree–which is unlikely. Stamkos has played in four Stanley Cup Finals–coming away with multiple Cups–and the Lightning will at least want to take another hard run at it next season.

Do those plans include their captain? One would think so.

Other Teams Would Be Lining Up, Too

But there are other teams–think his hometown of Toronto or even the Detroit Red Wings–that are trying to make their own Cup runs. The former would likely get a discount while the latter has the general manager who inked that 11th hour deal with him–Steve Yzerman.

What the Blackhawks could do is pay more than the those teams–all the while building their roster up in the process. But the issue remains that the Blackhawks at best–if it all goes well–are still at least two-three seasons from legitimately pounding on the playoff door. Their biggest bargaining chip of course would be Connor Bedard–but a young core is being built. That young score could move even faster if the likes of a Stamkos is in the locker room–and on the ice with them.

Things can certainly change and if indeed Stamkos hits free agency, the Blackhawks should have their checkbook ready. But if Steven Stamkos wants another Stanley Cup, it’s likely he won’t be coming to Chicago unless Davidson can make one hell of a pitch.

That reload has to start somewhere. Stamkos could be one heck of a start if everything lines up correctly.

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