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Online sports book says Stamkos likely to sign in Europe

Oct 10, 2012, 2:45 PM EDT

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Steven Stamkos AP

Odds are Steven Stamkos ends up playing in Europe during the NHL lockout, according to Bovada. The online sports book says it’s a 5/7 possibility he heads overseas (with even odds he stays put).

Of course, that’s just what the odds makers think. The last we heard from the Tampa Bay sniper, at the end of September, he was taking a wait-and-see approach.

“I probably won’t be thinking about anything until mid-October, depending on things,” Stamkos told the Tampa Tribune. “I might go home in a couple of weeks, we’ll see. Everyone wants to play and that’s the frustrating part because (the NHLPA) feels like we have an offer on the table that is fair for both sides. And at the end of the day we just want to play hockey, so it’s tough right now.”

Heading into the second year of a five-year, $37.5 million contract, the 22-year-old will earn $3 million in the form of a signing bonus regardless of whether the upcoming NHL season is cancelled. And considering he’s got a lengthy, profitable career ahead of him, we imagine insurance costs would be substantial to sign in Europe. Plus, there’s always the chance the owners and players reach an agreement.

But if the lockout drags on and he’s itching to play, there will be plenty of opportunities.

Two superstars Bovada thinks are less likely (1/2) to head overseas are Henrik and Daniel Sedin. The twins spent three seasons with Modo of the Swedish Elite League before joining the Canucks, but they’ve also got young families in Vancouver and, like Stamkos, don’t particularly need the money.

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