With playoffs out of the question again, Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos announced Saturday afternoon that he’d committed to playing for Team Canada at the upcoming World Championships.
But those plans were later put on hold as Stamkos’ left knee was injured following a check by Florida Panthers defenseman Filip Kuba in the final couple minutes of Tampa Bay’s season-ending game.
Luckily, an MRI Sunday revealed nothing serious. Although, I’m sure the element of uncertainty had to be a little worrisome.
“At the time you don’t know. But the doc checked it out and it should be no problem, nothing major,” Stamkos said, according to the Tampa Bay Times Damian Cristodero.
Now that he’s received a clean bill of health (his previously injured shoulder was checked out prior to committing), Stamkos will fly to Sweden Tuesday in advance of the May 5th start date.
Coming off another remarkable season, with 29 goals and 57 points, Stamkos also hopes to bring home a medal. It won’t be easy though considering Canada was eliminated by Slovakia in last year’s quarterfinal round. Then again, that team didn’t feature the NHL‘s most prominent goal-scorer in Stamkos, who stayed home to rest an injury.
Even though a gold medal would be nice, it’s safe to say those close to the Lightning just hope their superstar returns healthy and ready for training camp in 2014. If not, I’m sure the wails from fans will be heard nationwide.