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NHL notes: Lightning's Steven Stamkos cleared to return

Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning works out during a morning skate in Toronto Tuesday...

Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning works out during a morning skate in Toronto Tuesday January 28, 2014. (DAVE ABEL/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:10 PM ET

Veteran centre Steven Stamkos has the all-clear from doctors to return to the ice for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Stamkos has been sidelined since Nov. 11 after suffering a broken leg in a game against the Boston Bruins and undergoing surgery.

"Just left the doctors office. Got the green light. See you tomorrow Bolts fans. Excited to be back!!" Stamkos tweeted Wednesday morning.

The Lightning play at home against the Buffalo Sabres Thursday night.

Since Stamkos went down the injury, the Lightning has a 22-18-5 record and remains in solid playoff contention after starting the season 12-5-1 with Stamkos in the lineup. Before Stamkos went down, he had 14 goals and nine assists.

Stamkos was hoping to play in the Olympics last month for Canada, but tests determined at the time that the broken tibia was not completed healed.

Meanwhile, the Lightning recalled forward Richard Panik from the Syracuse Crunch and reassigned forward Vladislav Namestnikov to Syracuse.

ILITCH WON'T GO TO CEREMONY

Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch will miss Thursday's pre-game ceremony to retire Nicklas Lidstrom's jersey.

Ilitch says he won't be able to attend the ceremony, which will be held before the Wings' game against the Colorado Avalanche, due to medical issues that have been lingering for some time.

"This past year, I had a medical procedure that has kept me out of the spotlight for awhile," Ilitch said in a statement. "I feel much better now, and I'm stronger every day. While we may not attend every event, we never miss a game on TV and are very involved in all our businesses every day from home and the office.

"We want to congratulate Nick, his wife Annika, and their family on this honor. He's very deserving and we're so proud and fortunate to have had him as a part of the Red Wings family for more than 20 years."

Lidstrom retired in 2012 after a 20-year career with the Red Wings. He won the Stanley Cup four times and the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenceman seven times.

DATSYUK SHUT DOWN

Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk won't play for at least three weeks, general manager Ken Holland said Wednesday.

Datsyuk, who is dealing with a bad knee, probably won't require surgery but the Wings want him to take some time off in the hopes that will heal the injury.

"They're going to do some treatments with him over the next few days," Holland said on MLive.com. "We're going to see where we're at in three weeks. Right now surgery is not an option, but we'll see what the future holds."

In 39 games this season, Datsyuk has 15 goals and 18 assists.

In other news, forward Darren Helm will get a few days off after leaving Tuesday's game with headaches. Helm played just three games after returning from a concussion.


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