All of Canada just let out a long sigh.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have announced that Steven Stamkos has not been cleared to participate in Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics. This is surely a big blow to Team Canada as they will now be missing out on one of the games best pure goal-scorers.
A CT scan earlier today showed that Stamkos’ right tibia still is not healed. Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman had this to say.
“After reviewing the CT scan this afternoon, Dr. Gutentag made it clear to me and to Steven that the tibia is not completely healed and therefore he should not be participating in game action at any time in the near future”
“Although the doctor was very pleased to this point with the healing process, he explained that the callus surrounding the fracture site is not 100 percent consolidated, and Steven will not be cleared to play in a game until that happens. It was a pretty clear cut decision, no gray areas at all.”
It was thought that Stamkos could have returned to game action this Saturday when the Lightning face the Detroit Red Wings. That is now not the case obviously. This does now allow Stamkos to have more time to heal and hopefully be ready for soon after the Olympics.
With the Lightning in second place in the Atlantic Division, the Lightning will need Stamkos to be at full health sooner rather than later. As much as it sucks for Team Canada, this will allow his NHL season to be better.
As for Team Canada, it is still unknown who they plan to replace him with. Yzerman would be hard-pressed not to name Martin St. Louis to the team. I mean, how can you leave one of your best players on your team off of Team Canada a total of three times?