All eyes on Steven Stamkos ahead of Sochi

Steven Stamkos of the Lightning takes part in stretches during Tuesday's morning skate in Toronto....

Steven Stamkos of the Lightning takes part in stretches during Tuesday's morning skate in Toronto. His status with his NHL team and for the Olympics remains up in the air. (Dave Abel/QMI Agency)

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:02 AM ET

TORONTO - This must have been like watching Seabiscuit from the track rail at Santa Anita as the brave bay colt fought back from a leg injury.

The concerned gallery at the Air Canada Centre on Tuesday — Lightning, Leafs and a whole lot of media — were not there to see how Jon Cooper’s breakout worked or unravel Randy Carlyle’s second power play unit, but to grade the progress of a couple of key centres on the limp.

Steven Stamkos practiced last, but as the status of his broken right leg has international implications as the Sochi clock ticks down, he garnered most of the attention. Every stride, turn and stop, his leg was in the camera frame, his face studied for any wince of pain.

Satisfied after 15 minutes and not wishing to push his luck, Stamkos came off to face what will be a barrage of questions during the Lightning’s swing through three Canadian cities this week, including Tuesday’s near his hometown of Markham.

“We have two weeks at the most,” said Stamkos of declaring whether Canada should hold his spot or let someone from the long and 100% healthy waiting list on the roster. “There will be a lot of discussion in the next couple of days.”


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