Steve Yzerman's got a lot of work to do in Tampa Bay, but he knows his priorities.
The Lightning general manager recently made a contract offer to pending unrestricted free agent Steven Stamkos that averaged $8.5 million per season, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, speaking on Saturday's "Headlines" segment on "Hockey Night in Canada."
Friedman said the offer was made "some time in the last few weeks."
Earlier this week, Friedman addressed the contract offer in his "30 Thoughts" column:
Obviously, it was not accepted, but it would be wrong to use the word "rejected." My sense is it's a negotiation point, an attempt to see where everyone stands.
The Lightning have shot up the Eastern Conference standings thanks to a seven-game winning streak (which was snapped Saturday), and Stamkos has had a solid January. He has four goals and five assists in 10 games this month.