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Steven Stamkos insisted all along that he wanted to stay put in Tampa Bay to win the
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Steven Stamkos insisted all along that he wanted to stay put in Tampa Bay to win the Stanley Cup.The two-time Maurice Richard Trophy winner as the NHLs leading goal scorer gave himself that opportunity Wednesday, re-signing with the Lightning for eight years and foregoing a chance to test free agency.The team confirmed the agreement, which is worth $68 million, meaning the 26-year-old captain will earn an average of $8.5 million per season.The deal was reached two days before Stamkos had the opportunity to gauge his worth on the open market, where the four-time All-Star star with 312 goals was expected to command far more lucrative offers from numerous bidders, including his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs, the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings.Instead, he chose to stay with the team that made him the No. 1 pick in the 2008 draft.I am excited to move forward with the Lightning ... for the next eight years, Stamkos said in a statement released by the team.Its 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. ... Most importantly, I look forward to working with my teammates, coaches and our management in our goal of winning a Stanley Cup.The 26-year-old center is third on Lightnings all-time scoring list for goals and points. He was the NHLs leading scorer in 2012 and shared the title with Sidney Crosby in 2010.The contract that we agreed to is a number that (the Lightning presented) a while back. ... Ultimately Steven was willing to accept, general manager Steve Yzerman said.The GM added that when resumed talks with agent Don Meehan on Wednesday: I hadnt given up hope, but I certainly wasnt necessarily expecting it to get it done.Lightning teammate Ryan Callahan welcomed the news, writing on Twitter: Could not be more happy to have El Capitan Back!!! Callahan then joked that Stamkos will be picking up the tab at a fast-food restaurant.The agreement comes as something of a surprise after Stamkos and the Lightning were unable to negotiate a contract extension during the season. The uncertainty led to Stamkos potentially becoming the highest-profile player to hit the free agent market in several years.His status even loomed over the NHL draft in Buffalo last weekend, where several team executives expressed their interest in making a bid to sign Stamkos. Sabres general manager Tim Murray was among them, and referred to Stamkos as the big fish.Yzerman remained hopeful that a deal could be reached, saying as recently as last weekend that he had not closed the door on re-signing the teams star.The Lightning at least had a slight edge over other teams. Under NHL rules, they were allowed to sign Stamkos to an eight-year contract, while other teams were limited to making seven-year offers.We are very appreciative of the effort and commitment that Steven and his representatives have exhibited in getting a deal done, Yzerman said in the club announcement.We are excited to have him as a cornerstone part of the team for the next eight years as we continue in the franchises ultimate pursuit of winning another Stanley Cup.Stamkos has topped 40 goals four times. He won the NHLs regular-season scoring title twice, including 2011-12, when he had a career-best 60 goals.The captain is coming off a season in which he had 36 goals and 64 points in 77 games, before being sidelined after having surgery on April 4 to treat a blood clot near his right collarbone. He did not return until he saw limited ice time in Tampa Bays 2-1 loss to Pittsburgh in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final.The blood clot condition, called vascular thoracic outlet syndrome, is not expected to affect Stamkos career going forward.The Maple Leafs and Sabres were seeking to sign Stamkos in a bid to hasten their rebuilding plans. The Red Wings were believed to be interested after star Pavel Datsyuk chose to play in Russias Kontinental Hockey League.The Lightning have a deep and talented roster, which Stamkos helped lead to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, where Tampa Bay lost to the Blackhawks in six games.---AP Sports Writer Fred Goodall in Tampa, Florida, contributed to this story Wholesale Nike Vapormax .875,000, avoiding arbitration. Clippards deal Monday means all eight Nationals players who filed for arbitration wound up settling before a hearing. Vapormax Plus Outlet . The veteran safety was a starter for the Bengals from 2008-2012. He totaled 41 tackles and three interceptions while starting all but four of the 13 games he played last season. http://www.vapormaxcheapoutlet.com/ . The 28-year-old from Calgary matched his career best after missing just one shot in his two rounds of shooting in the mens 10-kilometre sprint competition. Smith finished in 23 minutes 15. Vapormax 2019 Throwback Future . LOUIS -- The New Orleans Saints looked like a team playing out the string. Cheap Nike Vapormax Outlet . Houston won 3-0 to advance to face New York in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Last in the game, Di Vaio and Romero got into a shoving match with several Houston players. Romero appeared to elbow and kick Houston defender Kofi Sarkodie.Manchester City reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in their history after a goalless second leg gave them a 3-1 aggregate win against Dynamo Kiev. Leading 3-1 from the first leg, things did not go entirely to plan for Manuel Pellegrini and his side, who lost both Vincent Kompany, who suffered a fourth calf injury of the season, and his central defensive partner Nicolas Otamendi in the first half. Joe Hart celebrates as Man City reach the Champions League last eight for the first time in their history In what was a drab affair, chances were few and far between until Jesus Navas struck the foot of the post for hosts just after the hour mark. Joe Hart was called into action late on to deny Vitali Buyalsky and Olexsandr Yakovenko, but in truth Pellegrinis men were rarely troubled as they booked their place in Fridays quarter-final draw. Stats show Kompany concern Stats suggest captains injury could be major problem However, the loss of both Kompany and Otamendi will be a huge worry for Pellegrini with a tricky run-in ahead, starting with Sundays Manchester derby, live on Sky Sports.Pellegrini was able to call on the services of Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta as he made two changes from the 0-0 draw at Norwich at the weekend. Manuel Pellegrini (L) consoles Vincent Kompany But the hosts could not have got off to a worst start as Kompany pulled up with what appeared to be another calf injury after slipping attempting to clear the ball.The City captain went to ground and signalled straight away, before trudging off the field to be replaced by Eliaquim Mangala.There were further problems for Pellegrini in the 16th minute when Nicolas Otamendi went down injured after a heavy collision with Buyalsky. Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi (L) reacts as he receives medical treatment The Argentina international, who booked for re-entering the field without the referees permission, tried to run off the injury but was eventually replaced Martin Demichelis midway through the first half to compound Citys deefensive problems.ddddddddddddClear-cut opportunities were hard to come by in what was a subdued atmosphere at the Etihad, but City were doing just enough, as Hart comfortably saved Lukasz Teodorczyk weak shot. Yaya Toure ® vies with Dynamo Kievs Austrian defender Aleksandar Dragovic At the other end, Citys best chance came when Navas burst through the Kiev defence, but the Spaniard then overhit his pass for Zabaleta, leaving the crowd frustrated once again.Despite the aggregate score, the visitors were not putting up much of a fight and were hardly threatening Citys makeshift defence. Manuel Pellegrini confirms Manchester Citys injury list following their 3-1 aggregate win against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League City were better after the break and Toure was at the heart of most of it. The midfielder curled a free-kick over the crossbar, before setting up Aguero, who dragged his shot wide of the far post.Minutes later, Toure again attempted to drag his side towards victory, picking out Navas, who shot across goal and hit the foot of the post. Manchester City midfielder David Silva ® vies with Dynamo Kievs Andriy Yarmolenko (L) and Domagoj Vida Navas returned the favour in the 73rd minute, pulling the ball back for Toure but Citys stand-in captain could only hit his shot straight at goalkeeper Oleksandr Shovkovskiy.Kiev rallied late on as Hart saved efforts from Hart saved from Andriy Yarmolenko, Yakovenko and Buyalsky, but it was job done for City, albeit at a cost. ' ' '
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