TAMPA, Fla. -- Loyalty, respect and the potential to win for years to come kept Steven Stamkos in Tampa Bay.Stamkos, the Lightning captain and a two-time NHL scoring champion, said Thursday that he followed his heart in re-signing with the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2008, rather than testing free agency, where he probably would have commanded much more than the $68 million hes due to earn over the next eight seasons.Some people, when theyre in this position, chase, obviously, the most money possible, Stamkos said during a conference call.For me, I realize the situation and understood that there could have been some money left out there. But for me, thats not what its all about. Its about going to an organization that I was comfortable with and something that gave me the best chance to win, in my mind.It was a very tough decision. It truly was. I cant sit here and say this past week has been fun. ... It was pretty stressful, to be honest. Im glad its over with.A person with direct knowledge of how the contract is structured said Stamkos will make $9.5 million in each of the first five years of the deal, then $7.5 million in 2021-22 and $6.5 million in both 2022-23 and 2023-24. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because those details have not been revealed.Stamkos, who helped the Lightning reach the Eastern Conference final three times in eight seasons, cited his relationship with owner Jeff Vinik, his respect for general manager Steve Yzerman and the coaching staff, and a talented nucleus of players built to win for years as significant factors in his decision.Tampa Bay lost to Chicago in the Stanley Cup finals in 2015, then made it back to the Eastern Conference finals this year and fell to Pittsburgh in seven games.Stamkos is the teams biggest star but hardly a one-man show on a roster featuring defenseman Victor Hedman, young forwards Nikita Kucherov, Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn, and goalie Ben Bishop.My intention all along was to hopefully work something out with Tampa, Stamkos said. Its been a great eight years that Ive been here. ... This team is on the verge of hopefully competing for Stanley Cups for years to come. With me being a captain and being the leader of that team, I felt kind of in my heart that was always the place I wanted to stay.Stamkos has won the Maurice Richard Trophy as the NHLs top scorer twice, including in 2011-12, when he had a career-best 60. He has had 40-plus goals in a season four times and had a shot to reach the mark again this year before he was sidelined in April by surgery to treat a blood clot near his right collarbone.The injury kept him out of the lineup until Tampa Bays 2-1 loss to the Penguins in Game 7 of the East final.Yzerman announced the deal Wednesday night and said he believes Stamkos, 26, is entering the prime of his career and his best years are ahead of him.Stamkos willingness to accept less money than he wouldve been offered by potential suitors in free agency provides the Lightning some flexibility in trying to keep the teams core intact in coming seasons.Were trying to put as competitive a team on the ice [as possible], and we asked Stammer, will you work us on this? This is what were trying to do. Were trying to be the best team we possibly can be, Yzerman said.Stamkos hometown Toronto Maple Leafs, the Buffalo Sabres and the?Detroit Red Wings were among the teams expected to make a run at the Tampa Bay captain if he had become an unrestricted free agent.I think Tampa gives me the best chance to win and be successful moving forward, Stamkos said.Obviously, being there the past eight years and knowing what to expect, knowing what we have going forward with the core group of guys we have plays into the decision. And for me, it was just following your heart and being loyal to an organization that has brought me up and made me the player and the person I am today.Stamkos, who has 312 goals, agreed with Yzermans assessment that he has yet to peak as player.A lot of people are going to base your performance on statistics and goals and points, but I can say 100 percent that Im a better player in all areas than I was when I first entered the league, Stamkos said. Theres still lots of room to grow as a player, to get better. As long as youre willing to put the work in, theres no reason why it shouldnt happen. Cheap Nike NBA Jerseys . -- Linebacker Myles Jack ran for four touchdowns, defensive end Cassius Marsh caught a scoring pass, and No. Nike Basketball Jerseys Authentic Cheap . Coach Mike Munchak says Fokou stretched ligaments in his left knee Oct. 13 against Seattle, which could keep out up to five weeks even though the linebacker didnt need surgery. http://www.cheapbasketballjerseysoutlet.com/ . -- The Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake played to a 0-0 tie Saturday night that left the top of the Western Conference standings unchanged. Cheap Basketball Jerseys China . 1 position. The Mustangs (6-0), who beat Queens 50-31 last weekend, earned 17 first-place votes and 287 points in voting by the Football Reporters of Canada. Western was last ranked first in the country in October 2011. Cheap NBA Jerseys China .C. -- Chris Thorburn thinks one of the reasons the Winnipeg Jets have been successful under new coach Paul Maurice is that theyre playing together as a team. RALEIGH, N.C. -- Now that North Carolina State is aware of Boston Colleges long losing streak in the ACC, the Wolfpack want no part of being the team to end it.The Eagles havent won an Atlantic Coast Conference game in nearly two full years, and bring a 12-game league losing streak into Saturdays game at N.C. State.Were frustrated with where we are right now, we also are encouraged by where the potential is, and weve got to keep developing, blossoming, and were not that far off, coach Steve Addazio said.Not a lot has gone right recently for the Eagles (3-4, 0-4), who have fallen back into last place in the Atlantic Division after two straight league losses . They rank last in the league in both points (21) and total yards (316.6) per game, and havent won a conference game since November 2014.The Wolfpack players insisted they were unaware of BCs run of in-league futility.Winning a football game is hard right now -- its a play here or a play there, N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said. I look at the film and see BC as a very physical, formidable opponent. ... Youve got to do things right to beat them.Doeren and the Wolfpack (4-3, 1-2) know all about the difficulties of winning lately. N.C. State seemingly had No. 3 Clemson beat two weeks ago , but missed a chip-shot field goal at the end of regulation and lost in overtime, then followed that up at No. 5 Louisville by falling behind by 44 points at halftime of a 54-13 loss.One week, youre heartbroken and in shock, and the next weekend we didnt play good, Doeren said, calling it an embarrassing feeling.Youre on top of the world, and all of a sudden, it was taken fromm you, he added.dddddddddddd Youve got to deal with them differently. Weve got to flush them both and move on.---Some things to know about the Boston College-N.C. State game:TOWLES ON: Addazio hopes QB Patrick Towles will be healthy enough to play after he injured a hamstring in last weeks loss to Syracuse. He was just 4 of 15 for 45 yards in that game with an interception and a fumble, and gained 75 of his career-best 104 yards rushing on one play, a touchdown run on which he injured his hamstring.FINLEYS FINE: N.C. State QB Ryan Finley has thrown four interceptions in his last two games after not throwing any during the first five. He also completed barely over half his passes in those two losses after hitting on nearly 70 percent in the first five games. Center Joe Scelfo isnt worried about him, saying Finley will be fine.ANOTHER TOUGH D: The Wolfpack are playing a top-11 defense for the third consecutive week. The Eagles are seventh in total defense, giving up 292 total yards per game. N.C. State previously faced Clemsons ninth-ranked defense and a Louisville unit that was 11th in that stat category.PACKS TURNOVERS: N.C. State has forced an ACC-best eight fumbles, ranking eighth in the Bowl Subdivision in that stat. That could mean trouble for a BC offense that has lost seven fumbles in seven games.---Follow Joedy McCreary at http://twitter.com/joedyap. 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