Stamkos a puppet for Players Assoc.?

   The Flyers are still debating whether to put in an offer sheet for Tampa Bay superstar Steven Stamkos.

    If they do, of course, Tampa has the right to match it _ and can wait seven days (crippling the Flyers in the FA market) before responding.

    A person close to Tampa's situation said Thursday he expects Stamkos to re-sign with the Lightning, and that the delay has been caused by the Players Association.

   "I think the P.A. is behind this, trying to get the price to go up and maximize things" for future free agents, said the source.

    Stamkos, 21, has an NHL-best 96 goals over the last two seasons. His agent is meeting with Tampa GM Steve Yzerman on Thursday afternoon.

    Meanwhile, the free-agency period starts at noon on Friday, and the Flyers are considering several options, including winger Erik Cole, who won a Stanley Cup with Peter Laviolette in Carolina.

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