St. Louis replaces Stamkos at Sochi Olympics


Martin St. Louis is going to Sochi.

The skilled forward was named to the team after his NHL teammate, Steven Stamkos, was ruled ineligible to play by team doctors. Stamkos was attempting to return to the lineup for the Tampa Bay Lightning this Saturday night when the team hosts the Detroit Red Wings. However, team doctors determined that his broken tibia has not fully healed, preventing them from clearing him for play. Stamkos will continue his recovery and be re-evaluated in another two to three weeks – hopefully in time to rejoin the Lightning when the NHL resumes after the Olympic break.

“Today is obviously very disappointing for me,” Stamkos said. “I honestly believe that we did everything possible in order to have my injured leg ready in time for the Olympics, but I realize you can’t force healing. I know, in the best interest of my long-term health, I cannot represent Canada in Sochi, as much as I would like to.”

While Stamkos, one of the league’s best goal scorers, will certainly be missed by Team Canada, the argument could be made that St. Louis should have been part of the team from the get-go. He has quietly put together a great campaign for the Lightning, even without Stamkos to feed the puck to, accumulating 25 goals and 29 assists in 56 games. He is also a plus-16 on the season. At 38-years-old, the veteran should certainly reach the 80-point plateau by the end of the season.

“I don’t see this as Marty replacing me, I see it as Marty deserving a spot on this team and going over and hopefully bringing back a gold medal,” said Stamkos of St. Louis selection.

St. Louis has won two World Championship silver medals with Canada. He played for Canada in the Olympics in 2007, contributing two goals and an assist en route to the team’s disappointing seventh place finish. Canada won gold in Vancouver in 2010, and expects that St. Louis will bring some speed to a team that has historically struggled on the larger international ice surface.

“Obviously it’s a bigger ice surface. It think my quickness, my speed … that’s what I’m going to rely on,” St. Louis said. “It’s a different game, but I think whatever game plan we come up with, it’s going to be well thought-out.”


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