National Post

LEADING OFF: OUT OF THE BLUE

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A slip of the thumb has set off a twittersto­rm o- f controvers­y for Tampa Bay Lightning cap tain Steven Stamkos. Stamkos was surrounded b-y a gaggle of reporters in the Lightning dress ing room Thursday morning, pressed on w- hether he really did “like” a TSN video Tues day discussing whether the Toronto Maple Leafs should pursue him as an unrestrict­ed f- ree agent. Even though Stamkos — @ Real Stamkos91 to his Twitter followers – quickly “unliked” the video, the damage was done. His response had spread like any awful social virus. “It doesn’t look great, but I’m telling you guys that it was on accident,” said Stamkos said to the media crowd Thursday. Still it served to add fuel to the smoulderin­g debate about S- tamkos’s uncertain fu ture in Tampa. While general manager Steve Yzerman and Stamkos have been trying to work out a long term deal to stay in Florida – Stamkos’s agents are in town — he would be the most sought after unrestrict­ed free agent next summer if left unsigned. The Maple Leafs, who have not had a true No. 1 centre since the days of Mats Sundin, would be at the top of the interested teams bidding for Stamkos, who is from

Markham. Postmedia News

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