The Tampa Bay Lightning had a case of the good news and bad news on Thursday.
A day after finding out his recovery from a broken tibia had been stalled, Lightning forward Steven Stamkos addressed the media at the Tampa Bay Times Forum after learning he was not medically cleared to play this weekend for the team. Stamkos also will miss the chance to compete for Team Canada in the Winter Olympics.
"I was disappointed, a little shocked, a little surprised," said Stamkos, who had a CT scan performed on his recovering leg Wednesday afternoon. "If anything, I wish we had done that (the scan) a little earlier so I could have prepared myself for this type of announcement."
Doctors discovered his right tibia had not completely healed and recommended Stamkos continue the rehab over the next two weeks when the NHL takes a break during the Winter Olympics. Stamkos, who broke his leg on Nov. 11 against the Bruins, said he would be able to continue the same type of therapy and workouts throughout the break.
"I'll stay here (in Tampa) and work just as had as I have been doing," said Stamkos, who had a titanium rod placed in his tibia in the surgery back in the fall.
While Stamkos was upset about the news, he expressed delight over the announcement that Lightning teammate Martin St. Louis will take his place on Team Canada.
"I'm excited for Marty and I was more than pleased to find out he would be joining (Team Canada)," Stamkos said. "If anyone deserved a spot on the team, he did."
St. Louis, 38, played for Team Canada in the 2006 Olympics, but he was not named to the national team when Canada won the gold in Vancouver.
"It's a great opportunity for me and I'm happy I'm getting this opportunity at this point in my career," St. Louis said. "I obviously feel terrible for Steven and I know Canada's going to miss him. I'm going to do everything I can to contribute the best way I can. It was tough to be left off it originally, but I'm excited about the opportunity to represent Canada."
In addition to St. Louis, the Lightning have six other players bound for the Olympics including center Valtteri Filppula (Finland), wingers Ondrej Palat (Czech Republic) and Richard Panik (Slovakia), plus defensemen Radko Gudas (Czech Republic) and Sami Salo (Finland). Goalie Kristers Gudlevskis (Latvia), a member of the Syracuse Crunch, the Bolts' American Hockey League affiliate, also will participate.