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Why are people talking about Steven Stamkos and the Toronto Maple Leafs?

Why is social media on fire with speculation that Steven Stamkos will be a Leaf?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Hockey's corner of the Internet has been abuzz for the last several days about the possibility of Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, a free agent in 2016, joining the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It got to the point where the official Lightning twitter account tweeted a quote from Stamkos, attempting to put the rabid Toronto fans back in their place.

The funny thing is that the quote itself is fairly lukewarm -- certainly nothing to "amen" about. But what's driving this whole conversation anyway?

It may not surprise you to know that, like everything this summer, it's all LeBron James' fault. You see, LeBron had the audacity to sign with his hometown team. That left everyone else wondering when they would get their own homegrown star.

Adam Proteau of The Hockey News wrote a story asking when the Maple Leafs would have their own LeBron, naming both Stamkos and Montreal Canadiens superstar P.K. Subban. Then Stamkos favorited the tweet that included that story and a low, smoldering fire quickly grew out of control.


Stamkos could have favorited the tweet for a bunch of reasons, and has since unfavorited it, but naturally this could only mean one thing: He's going to Toronto as an unrestricted free agent in two years!

That's how a lot of people took it, anyhow -- especially Proteau, who has gone on a bit of a tear talking about Stamkos to Toronto ever since:

Throw some more gasoline on that fire.