Toronto radio station TSN 1050 printed 'Sign Stamkos' signs ahead of Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning's visit to the Air Canada Centre Tuesday, but the campaign was cut short when those signs were then banned from the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
TSN is owned by Bell, which is also a part-owner of the Maple Leafs. Teams are not allowed to reach out to players who are already under contract with another club in an attempt to get the player to sign with a different club, and because TSN and the Leafs share an owner, the signs were quickly prohibited from the rink.
While fans were not allowed to bring the signs in with them, the attention on Stamkos — who will be a free agent at the end of the season — remained. Stamkos and his coach, Jon Cooper, were both asked about the possibility of Stamkos signing with the Leafs next summer, and both attempted to tell reporters the fervor in Toronto is not a distraction for the Lightning.
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Although Stamkos did not register a point in Tuesday's game, the Lightning did leave triumphantly after besting the Leafs, 5-4, in overtime.