Angry Alexis: Brace Yourselves! Stamkos Rumors Abound
If these arguments sound familiar, that’s because they are. Hockey pundits and fans of teams in traditional markets regularly deploy these baseless, tired cliches when the Tampa Bay Lightning are brought up. Lightning fans get upset and wonder when our team and our boys are going to get the same respect as other NHL teams.
One of the biggest mistakes Lightning fans make is expecting mainstream hockey media and fans to respect our team. It’s not going to happen. No matter how well the Bolts are doing in the standings they are always going to be the team from Florida. The nationalities comprising the roster make absolutely no difference in this argument. The geographic location of the franchise is always going to dictate how some think about our team. This plays directly into the recent rumors about Steven Stamkos supposedly wanting to head to Toronto to play for his hometown team.
The truth of the matter is none of us know exactly where Steven Stamkos is going to be playing when he does become a UFA in two years. He could be in Tampa on a long term deal. He could have won a championship here and decided he wanted to go back home. He could be somewhere else entirely. He could become the first Canadian to walk on the moon by the time 2016 rolls around. The last one is ridiculous but it makes a point. Speculation, while amusing, is just that.
It stings to think of our marquee player going elsewhere to play, especially in light of what happened with another franchise player at the last trade deadline. Guess what? It’s only going to get worse the closer we get to Stammer’s contract expiring. Lightning fans need to toughen up and stop being so reactionary to random comments from people in traditional markets. Who cares what they think about our team and its fans? We know what we have here. At the end of the day, success is the best revenge. Hopefully the Lightning are poised for just that.
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