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Tampa Bay Lightning forward Martin St. Louis will replace the injured Steven Stamkos on Team Canada at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Stamkos has been practicing and had hoped to play in the Lightning's final game before the Olympic break on Saturday. However, he was ruled out by doctors on Wednesday because he hasn’t recovered fully from a broken right leg, which he suffered on Nov. 11. In 17 games this season, Stamkos has 14 goals and nine assists, according to the Associated Press.
"I heard from Stammer that he wasn't going to go, so I knew it was a possibility," St. Louis said. "So I guess I was prepared for it."
St. Louis added, “I think we've got to understand how hard he's tried and worked to put himself in the position he's in and give himself a chance. Obviously he's disappointed and I'm disappointed for him. Stammer's a true professional and he's done everything he can this past month to get back to the Lightning first and hopefully to Team Canada."
Lightning general manager and Team Canada’s general manager Steve Yzerman chose St. Louis over Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux and Pittsburgh’s James Neal. St. Louis has been doing a good job for the Lightning. He leads the team in points (54), assists (29), and goals (25).
This will be St. Louis’ second Olympics, as he was part of the Turin Games in 2006 when Team Canada lost to Russia in the quarterfinals, according to Fox Sports. He has won two World Championship silver medals for Canada in his career.
Stamkos has missed 39 games so far as a result of his injury.
image: Wikimedia Commons