Even with the recent decision in the NBA of Kevin Durant heading to the Golden State Warriors to create a ’super-team’, it’s still not very often that you see superstars take less money to stay in a place they feel comfortable. That’s what happened the past two weeks, as both Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman re-signed for eight years (and considerably less money than expected) with the Tampa Bay Lightning, in part because of their personal bond. When talking to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN, Stamkos said just as much:
“Victor and I are extremely close friends. We came up in this organization as 18-year-old kids. To say that we’re going to be together for the long run, and on one team, that’s something special. A big reason why both of us stuck around is because of the relationship that we have as teammates and as friends as well.”
To see two superstars leave some money on the table and not even hit free agency is a rare one indeed in today’s sporting world, but we may be about to catch it again in Calgary. Pending RFAs Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan have expressed a similar sentiment, and hope to be together for ’the next ten years’. Here’s more from around the league:
- The Columbus Blue Jackets have brought in former London Knight general manager Basil McRae to become their director of player personnel, according to a team release. After capturing the 2016 Memorial Cup, McRae will return to the club he worked for in 2013-14 this time in a more advanced role. With the signing, the Blue Jackets have also announced two promotions, Ville Siren moves from pro scout to director of amateur scouting, and Josef Boumedienne moves from pro scout to director of European scouting.
- After being knocked out in the second round by the San Jose Sharks, the Nashville Predators came into the offseason with the plan to get faster on the back end. Buying out Barret Jackman after just his first year with the club was the first move towards that end, and bringing in Yannick Weber to replace him was the next. For what it’s worth, Weber seems to have turned down more money in Europe to stay in the NHL, according to Adam Vignan of the Tennessean. Weber took a minimum deal of $575K to secure an NHL job with Nashville.
- Flyers prospect Philippe Myers underwent hip surgery on Wednesday, and will not be participating in the Philadelphia development camp, according to GM Ron Hextall. Myers went undrafted out of Rouyn-Noranda in 2014-15, but exploded onto the scene last season with 45 points from the back end. He’ll now try and work his way back from surgery to return to the Flyers’ future plans.