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x123 Jun 3 '17
TAMPA, Fla. Malik Hooker Youth Jersey . -- Loyalty, respect and the potential to win for years to come kept Steven Stamkos in Tampa Bay.The Lightning captain said Thursday that he followed his heart in re-signing with the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2008 rather than testing free agency, where he likely would have commanded much more than the $68 million hes due to earn over the next eight seasons.Some people when theyre in this position chase, obviously, the most money possible, the two-time NHL scoring champion said during a conference call.For me, I realize the situation and understood that there could have been some money left out there. But for me, thats not what its all about. Its about going to an organization that I was comfortable with, and something that gave me the best chance to win in my mind, Stamkos added.It was a very tough decision. It truly was. I cant sit here and say this past week has been fun. ... It was pretty stressful, to be honest. Im glad its over with.A person with direct knowledge of how the contract is structured said Stamkos will make $9.5 million in each of the first five years of the deal, then $7.5 million in 2021-22 and $6.5 million in both 2022-23 and 2023-24. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because those details have not been revealed.Stamkos, who helped the Lightning reach the Eastern Conference final three times in eight seasons, cited his relationship with owner Jeff Vinik, his respect for general manager Steve Yzerman and the coaching staff, as well as a talented nucleus of players built to win for years as significant factors in his decision.Tampa Bay lost to Chicago in the Stanley Cup Final in 2015, then made it back to the Eastern Conference final this year before falling to Pittsburgh in seven games.Stamkos is the teams biggest star, but hardly a one-man show on a roster also featuring defenseman Victor Hedman, young forwards Nikita Kucherov, Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn, and goalie Ben Bishop.My intention all along was to hopefully work something out with Tampa. Its been a great eight years that Ive been here. ... This team is on the verge of hopefully competing for Stanley Cups for years to come, the four-time All-Star said. With me being a captain, and being the leader of that team, I felt kind of in my heart that was always the place I wanted to stay.Stamkos has won the Maurice Richard Trophy as the NHLs top scorer twice, including 2011-12, when he had a career-best 60. Hes had 40-plus goals in a season four times and had a shot at doing it again this year before being sidelined in April by surgery to treat a blood clot discovered near his right collarbone.The injury kept him out of the lineup until Tampa Bays 2-1 loss to the Penguins in Game 7 of the East final.Yzerman announced the deal Wednesday night, saying he believes the 26-year-old center is entering the prime of his career and that his best years are ahead of him.Stamkos willingness to accept less money than he figured to be offered by potential suitors in free agency provides the Lightning with some flexibility in trying to keep the teams core intact in coming seasons.Were trying to put as competitive a team on the ice (as possible) and we asked Stammer, will you work us on this? This is what were trying to do. Were trying to be the best team we possibly can be, Yzerman said.Stamkos hometown Toronto Maple Leafs, the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings were among the teams expected to make a run at the Tampa Bay captain if he had become an unrestricted free agent on Friday.I think Tampa gives me the best chance to win and be successful moving forward, Stamkos said.Obviously being there the past eight years and knowing what to expect, knowing what we have going forward with the core group of guys we have plays into the decision, he added. And for me, it was just following your heart and being loyal to an organization that has brought me up and made me the player and the person I am today.Stamkos, who has 312 goals, agreed with Yzermans assessment that hes yet to peak as player.A lot of people are going base your performance on statistics and goals and points, but I can say 100 percent that Im a better player in all areas than I was when I first entered the league, Stamkos said.Theres still lots of room to grow as a player, to get better, he added. As long as youre willing to put the work in, theres no reason why it shouldnt happen.---AP Sports Writer John Wawrow in Buffalo, N.Y., contributed to this report. Malik Hooker Jersey . Ashley Youngs cross was inadvertently headed by Chester into his own net in the 66th minute, allowing United to claim a third straight league win. "We had to dig deep with our fighting spirit and weve done that," United striker Wayne Rooney said. Tarell Basham Womens Jersey .Y. - Free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, fresh off winning the World Series with Boston, reached agreement with the rival New York Yankees on a seven-year contract worth about $153 million, a person familiar with the negotiations said Tuesday night. . Peter Holland and Brad Staubitz were sent to Toronto on Saturday as the Maple Leafs traded defenceman Jesse Blacker and draft picks to the Anaheim Ducks. Eric Gordon and the Houston Rockets?have agreed to a four-year, $53 million deal, a source told ESPNs Chris Broussard.The agreement was first reported by The Vertical.The Rockets had a busy Saturday. Before reaching the deal with Gordon, they also agreed to terms with power forward Ryan Anderson, his agent told ESPNs Marc Stein.Finding another outside shooter to complement newly hired coach Mike DAntonis up-tempo offensive system was next.Gordon has never played a full 82-game season, but he was snagged to give shooting guard James Harden another playmaker on offense, something Harden and DAntoni talked about prior to the start of free agency.Gordon, 27, arrived in New Orleans in the 2011 offseason as the prize of the trade that sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers.But Gordons career with the Hornets/Pelicans has been defined by his time off the court. The former seventh overall pick out of Indiana played just nine games in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, and he has missed an average of 29 games per season since. In large part because of injuries, the eight-year veteran never turned into the offensive dynamo he seemed to be ready to become after averaging 22.3 points per game with an 18.56 player efficiency rating in his third and final sseason with the Clippers. Quincy Wilson Womens Jersey. Gordon averaged a respectable 15.3 points and 39 percent shooting on 3s in five seasons with New Orleans, but he routinely shot in the low 40s from the field and never topped a 16 player efficiency rating in a season when he played double-digit games.After rejecting a four-year extension from the then-Hornets in January 2012, Gordon signed a maximum offer sheet worth $58 million over four years with the Phoenix Suns that summer to play for then-coach Alvin Gentry. Despite Gordons declaration via a statement that Phoenix is just where my heart is now, New Orleans matched the deal for the restricted free agent.Gentry was hired as Pelicans coach last offseason, and Gordons first season under him resulted in a 56.6 true shooting percentage -- the highest of the guards New Orleans career.But Gordon finished 2015-16 ranked 27th among shooting guards in real plus-minus (minus-0.48) and missed 37 games after breaking the ring finger on his right (shooting) hand twice as the Pelicans sputtered to a 30-52 record.Information from ESPN.coms Calvin Watkins and Justin Verrier was used in this report. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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