One of the biggest questions surrounding Team Canada’s Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics men’s ice hockey team is whether or not Steven Stamkos would be joining the team. The dynamic winger has been out with a leg injury for the past couple of months. All Canadian fans were hoping Stamkos would be able to play, as seeing him play next to Sidney Crosby would be a dream pairing. However, it was revealed today that Stamkos will not be joining the team due to his injury.
For Stamkos, it’s probably best that he doesn’t try to play through an injury that could only lead to major complications for his bright, bright future ahead. It’s better to heal an injury than to worsen it, at any level of play. Still, it’s very unfortunate that Stamkos won’t be able to play in these Olympics. The blow is a big one to Canada, but the team has so much depth that it won’t hurt their chances of winning. At the very least, Stamkos and Canadian fans can rest assured that Stamkos will certainly be participating in a couple Olympics down the road.
Having the depth that Team Canada has, they have a plethora of available players who could take Stamkos’ spot. For me, the selection should either be Claude Giroux or Martin St. Louis. Giroux has been one of the best Canadian player in the NHL the past three years, and he also shoots right like Stamkos, so he’d fit in comfortably. St. Louis is proving that age is just a number as he continues to play with exceptional standards in Tampa Bay. However, St. Louis is more of a playmaker where Giroux is both a playmaker and a sniper; his play is more similar to Stamkos, and because of that, I’d pick him as the replacement.
I might predict a lineup for Team Canada in a couple days, but I probably won’t as there are just so many possible feasible combinations. Honestly I think any combination of the players would work well, but some better than others. I can’t stress how excited I am to see the team start playing, and I’m sure all of Canada feels the same way right now!