Earlier on Wednesday it was reported by Hockey Examiner writer Andrew Demo, that Tampa Bay Lightning superstar Steven Stamkos would not be able to play for Team Canada in men's hockey at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi because his leg he broke back in November had not completely healed.
The loss is huge for Team Canada because Stamkos, who scored sixty goals just two seasons ago, was expected to play wing alongside Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Canada's number one line.
Now there are two questions that Team Canada management will have to answer. Who replaces Stamkos and who will play with Crosby?
The best guess to the first question is probably Stamkos's Tampa Bay teammate, Martin St. Louis.
St. Louis was surprisingly left off the Olympic team after leading the NHL in points last season with 60. So far this season, he his leading the Lightning with 54 points in 56 games. Other options are Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers and Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks. Giroux is red hot as he has seven goals and 11 assists in 17 games since January 1, while Thornton leads the NHL in assists with 48.
As for the second question, do not be surprised whoever is chosen among the three favourites to replace Stamkos could play on the right wing with Crosby and Chris Kunitz. That is because it is expected that Corey Perry will play with Ryan Getzlaf because of their familiarity in Anaheim and that Patrick Sharp will play with Jonathan Toews because of their familiarity in Chicago.