In crushing news for Team Canada, the Tampa Bay Lightning have announced that superstar center Steven Stamkos has not recovered enough from his broken tibia to play for Canada in the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics.
It was speculated over the last few weeks that Stamkos would be able to get into a couple games for the Lightning before the tournament began, but that hasn't happened yet. Stamkos mentioned in an interview last week that the bone is fine, but he still has discomfort in the surrounding tissue, which was damaged when he broke the bone.
Stamkos was Canada's best goal scoring option, and is an impossible talent to replace. The speculation right now is that the Flyer's Claude Giroux will be tapped by Canada to come in Stamkos' place, but there are other possibilities as well, including Stamkos' Lightning teammate Martin St. Louis.
Giroux was considered a lock for the team coming into the 2013-14 NHL season, but was left off after an extremely slow start where he scored just one goal in 19 games. Since that slow start though, Giroux is back up to a 79-point pace, and has scored 17 goals in 38 games, a near 37-goal pace.