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Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers Trade: Steven Stamkos Trade That Almost Happened, How One Veto Could've Changed the NHL's Last Decade


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Tom Banks
September 3, 2023  (10:40)
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The Tampa Bay Lightning have been one of the NHL's best teams over the past decade, and now, a vetoed blockbuster trade has been revisited, and it could have shaken the NHL to its core.

The trade

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While it was only rumoured at the time, it appeared that the Stanley Cup favourite Rangers were looking to add Steven Stamkos during his red-hot sophomore season, and this was the proposed deal.
To New York Rangers:
— Steven Stamkos

To Tampa Bay Lightning - any 2 of the following:
— Michael Del Zotto
— Ryan Callahan
— Brandon Dubinsky
— Dan Girardi
— Evegny Grachev

Looking back on it, this move would have absolutely been a steal for the Rangers, as Stamkos has gone on to lead the Lightning to two Stanley Cup victories, while none of the proposed players in the return panned out at all.

Landscape changing

The biggest change of all as a result of this trade going through would have been the Rangers Stanley Cup chances in 2014, as they no doubt would have gone over the Kings with the improved fire power, limiting the dominance of the Kings/Blackhawks during that era.

Beyond that, the Rangers, along with Henrik Lundqvist would have become an absolute powerhouse, including overturning the loss that came to the Lightning in the 2015 ECF, making them a showtime team fitting of The Big Apple, while Stamkos ended up leading a talented core to several Cups,
Despite being rumoured back in 2014, this potential deal would have ramifications all the way up until the present day, as their core of Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and Andrei Vasilevsky wouldn't have Stamkos as their captain and leader, so this could have stopped them from becoming the powerhouse in the early 2020's that we've seen.
Ultimately, it's a deal that was proposed a long time ago, but the Lightning co-owner must be thanking his lucky stars that he vetoed the move, as it's led to them becoming a powerhouse, and for the Rangers fans, this would be a major disappointment.
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Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers Trade: Steven Stamkos Trade That Almost Happened, How One Veto Could've Changed the NHL's Last Decade

Is this the biggest potential, vetoed trade of all-time?

Yes40859.5 %
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