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Matt Beleskey

Trade deadline conjecture lessens with Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos off the market

Trade deadline conjecture lessens with Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos off the market

It's not often that a general manager issues a statement to say he's not going to trade a player. But speculation over Steven Stamkos' future with the Tampa Bay Lightning, which only increased after the Toronto Maple Leafs made another trade last week to create salary-cap space, led Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman to declare that he's keeping the high-scoring center, who can become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

“As February 29 approaches, I am stating today that Steven Stamkos will not be traded before the NHL's trade deadline,” Yzerman said Monday. “I have said repeatedly that it is our hope to reach an agreement with Steven on a new contract...

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