The Detroit Red Wings and a Steven Stamkos pipedream

The year was 2016, and the Detroit Red Wings fanbase, like the rest of the league, was looking forward to Steven Stamkos's potential arrival in the free-agency market.
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The year was 2016, and the Detroit Red Wings fanbase, like the rest of the league, looked forward to Steven Stamkos' potential arrival to the free agency market. At the time, Stamkos would have been the highest-profile player to be looking for suitors in a handful of years. Unfortunately, the Tampa Bay Lightning captain reached a contract extension with the team before anyone else could swoop in to steal the superstar for their own roster. 

Now, fast-forward eight years. Stamkos is set to become a free agent once again, and although he is not the elite player that he once was, he is still rated as the top pending free agent this off-season. He has much to offer a young, up-and-coming team that could use veteran leadership and a scoring threat on the power play.

Having put up another 40-goal season this year should ease the skepticism of an offensive decline coming. The thought is that the familiarity between Stamkos and general manager Steve Yzerman could be enough to sway him towards signing in Mo-town. That, coupled with the uncertainty of Patrick Kane returning to Detroit, makes the prospect of signing Stamkos certainly intriguing. But is it actually realistic?

While answering questions from his mailbag, Dan Rosen of discussed the two most likely suitors, other than Tampa Bay, to be Montreal and Detroit. Montreal because of his history with head coach Martin St. Louis and Detroit because of his history with Steve Yzerman. Both of those teams were brought up because Stamkos has a history with leadership in both organizations.

So we should be wary of jumping to conclusions about thinking that we may know exactly what Stamkos wants for his future. Sure, he has praised Yzerman both as a player and as a manager, however the issue of term for a potential contract could be a deterrent. As history shows, Yzerman has been reluctant to give long-term to players, especially those over the age of 30.

This could quite honestly be the thorn that pushes Patrick Kane to another club this offseason. Is their history together enough for Yzerman to break one of his rules and look the other way? Asking the young players to come up from Grand Rapids and fill a role as important as what Stamkos could otherwise bring may be a bit too much to ask. 

Steven Stamkos and Steve Yzerman's history could be enough to entice the star to join the Red Wings.

The Red Wings seem to be on the rise in the hockey world and have a market that truly cares about the team. The environment and fanbase in Detroit could be refreshing for Stamkos to finish his career in but does his age meet the timeline for the “Cup Window” in Detroit? He may want a better shot at another championship in the remaining years of his career. It will be a very interesting offseason as far as roster construction with a fair amount of UFAs most likely on the way out.