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Stamkos will have ‘honest’ talk with Yzerman before Olympic decision

Jan 28, 2014, 12:33 PM EDT

The Tampa Bay Lightning are in Toronto to play the Leafs tonight, and that meant a rather large media horde was waiting for injured superstar Steven Stamkos, who’s still questionable to play for Team Canada at the upcoming Olympics.

From Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston:

From ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:

Stamkos also said he’ll have an “honest” talk with Team Canada executive director Steve Yzerman before making the final decision.

First and foremost, Stamkos (and Yzerman, who’s also the Lightning’s GM) will want to know that he’s not putting himself at serious risk by playing on a leg he broke just a short while ago in November. Remember, this rehab has been an aggressive one. If not for the Olympics, he probably wouldn’t be at this stage of the process.

But it’s also a matter of his effectiveness. With the likes of Claude Giroux, James Neal, and Martin St. Louis being left off Team Canada, there are more than adequate replacements available.

  1. gotstamkos - Jan 28, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    Don’t rush it Stammer! We all want you to play. Long term health should be priority. You’ll be the face of Lightning Hockey for a long time and the Team Canada sweater would look great on ya, but it should be at 100%.

  2. terrier92 - Jan 28, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    He is a warrior

    Wish nothing but the best for the kid

    Hope he is healthy enough to play yet hope his long term health is not compromise

    Best of luck kid

  3. joey4id - Jan 28, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    And there is the first sign of things to come, which will be an admission that he is a no go for the Olympics. No surprise there. Hope they will name Martin St. Louis as his replacement.

    • lonespeed - Jan 28, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      It probably would be Martin St. Louis, but I think Jeff Skinner would be the better option.

      • lonespeed - Jan 28, 2014 at 1:47 PM

        Why the downvotes? No one was knocking St. Louis or said St. Louis was not a great player.

        – St. Louis (52 Games, 25 Goals, 27 Assists, 52 Points, 0.480 Goals Per Game Avg.)
        – Skinner (41 Games, 21 Goals, 15 Assists, 37 Points, 0.512 Goals Per Game Avg.)

        You guys act like they are not comparable.

        Skinner is younger, faster and has been on fire for the past month. There is plenty of leadership already on team Canada. Skinner would likely be a better role-player than St. Louis.

      • sens101 - Jan 28, 2014 at 2:00 PM

        thumbs down because this is a terrible arguement. if you calculate ppg…st louis would be better. bottom line is that its no just about the point or goal production. They are not comparable in terms of intangibles. St. Louis is more consistent and knows how hard it is and what it takes to win.

        My vote goes to Giroux. It was a mistake to leave him off in the first place. The guy can take big faceoffs, be a powerplay quarterback, kill penalties and can play centre or the wing. He’s also been on a torrid pace since having that brutal start.

      • imleftcoast - Jan 28, 2014 at 4:04 PM

        It should be St. Louis. Giroux should have shown up to camp in the summer if he was interested.

      • thephillyfanclub - Jan 28, 2014 at 10:28 PM

        Imleftcoast- Giroux was injured, don’t you remember the “mysterious” golfing incident, he couldn’t have played even if he wanted to. Plus he rushed back and wasn’t 100 % when he returned which was the cause of his early season point slump, its asinine that he is not on the roster in the first place.

  4. muckleflugga - Jan 28, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    pavelski’s the only choice

    should have been in the mix from the get go

    man as opposed to kid…?

    kid … just like the cutesy nicknames … raaaaaalph …


    • ruthlessandtoothless - Jan 28, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      Joe Pavelski is from Wisconsin.

    • realemman - Jan 28, 2014 at 5:18 PM

      Real bad job trolling man.

  5. valoisvipers - Jan 28, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    My vote goes to James Neal as he would be the perfect fit with Crosby and Kunitz.

  6. penvik - Jan 28, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    Stamkos is great when healthy don’t get me wrong, but he shouldn’t have been involved in the Olympic discussion due to this injury. He is better than giroux and Neal no doubt but it takes longer than a couple games to get into game shape and he won’t be at the level. To bring him just cause is an even bigger slap to the face to the guys who were left off. I also think that Martin St. Louis really helped bring out the NHLer that Stamkos is today. He doesn’t score without help and St. Louis is that help. Just a sad decision by hockey Canada in my opinion.

  7. muckleflugga - Jan 28, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    gotta love st. louis … wonder if he has the leg for big ice … in-tight and around big corners he’d be deadly but he’s got to get there first…?

    i see stevie’s headaches getting worse

    too many good alternates

  8. cspsrbums - Jan 28, 2014 at 7:11 PM

    Just heal, and send St. Louis in your place

  9. chanceoffleury - Jan 28, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    Stamkos and Yzerman need to think long and hard about where his progress is when they sit down for that talk. It’ll probably be the hardest decision he’s made thus far in his hockey career, but he needs to be realistic when asking himself if the level he’s at is better than where Giroux, Neal, or St. Louis are at being 100%. And the decision is for both Team Canada’s sake and the Tampa Bay Lightning. If Stamkos reinjures himself or just doesn’t let the leg get back to where it should be than tampa’s at a loss for the rest of the year. They’ve got a really solid team together and have started to separate themselves with Boston and Pittsburgh from the rest of the east. Getting a 100% healthy Stamkos back just in time to come in fresh and hot a few weeks before the playoffs could be a huge advantage for them.

    Is it bad that I don’t think Canada’s biggest question mark is even Stamkos or the fact they’re possibly leaving their 3 most efficient finishers of this season off their roster? Their goalie staff has posted .914, .864, and .897 since the team has been announced. Russia, Sweden, and USA are licking their lips right now. That is without a doubt shaping up to be the way to crack team Canada, if they do go down I’ll be shocked if it’s any other way.

    • lightning69 - Jan 29, 2014 at 12:04 PM

      COF…Well stated breakdown of several factors in a hard decision. A long term healthy Stamkos IS the future of Tampa’s franchise. Also a huge potential factor in making a deep run in the playoffs this year. Many things must come together for a team to have a chance at a Cup run. Tampa as a team of rookies and a few vets have created an opportunity to be there. Without their best player. In a division that no one expected them to even have much of a shot at a wildcard spot last Oct.

      Stamkos will be 27 in 2018.

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