TAMPA, FL - MAY 25: Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning warms up prior to Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Bruins during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at St Pete Times Forum on May 25, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Steven Stamkos Signs Five-Year Contract With Tampa Bay Lightning, Ends Rumors

Steven Stamkos is staying in Tampa Bay as a member of the Lightning, at least for the next five years. He signed a contract extension on Tuesday, ending more than 20 days of speculation around his future with the team.

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Steven Stamkos Signs Five-Year Contract Extension With Tampa Bay Lightning, Puts End To Rumors

The rumors had circled around Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning all summer. Steve Yzerman and the Bolts couldn't afford their young super star and the future of their franchise, and some rich club was ready to swoop in, send him an offer sheet and rip him from the Florida sun.

As it turns out, that never happened (and in reality, the chances of it ever happening were probably slim). The Lightning announced on Tuesday that they've signed Stamkos to a five-year contract, ending all of the speculation and locking up their future until 2016. 

The contract is reportedly worth $7.5 million on average per season, meaning Stamkos comes in at a lower price than many of his peers. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin earn $8.7 million against the salary cap each year, while Alex Ovechkin earns well over $9 million per year. Of course, Stamkos will only be 26 years old when this contract expires.

For more on the deal, check in with SB Nation's Raw Charge, where they're surely sick of all the rumors and are relieved that it's all over for the next half-decade.

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