TAMPA - The door to the 2014 Winter Olympics slammed shut on Steven Stamkos on Wednesday.
But the same door likely opened for Martin St. Louis, Stamkos’ Tampa Bay Lightning teammate, or Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Both are capable. Hockey Canada announced that a replacement will be announced in the coming days, and others such as James Neal of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes, Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks and Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars have been mentioned.
The call from Canada’s executive director, Steve Yzerman, should go to St. Louis or Giroux. Yzerman, also St. Louis’ boss with the Lightning, couldn’t spurn his 38-year-old star again, could he?
The potentially difficult decision became reality for Yzerman and Canada’s staff when the Lightning announced that Stamkos’ broken right tibia had not healed enoughto give him the green light to play in games.