If there was ever any doubt Steven Stamkos is aiming to play for Canada at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in February, the Lightning's star center left no doubt Wednesday after a skate at the Rogers Center in Vancouver. Stamkos, who is rehabbing from a broken right leg sustained Nov. 11 at Boston, said playing in the Olympics "is something that is a goal of mine," and he added, "I'm going to do everything I can to be ready." "I want to come back and play hockey for the Tampa Bay Lightning before I go to the Olympics, if that's the case," Stamkos said. "But it's nice to have that goal to motivate you and push you through some of the tougher days." Stamkos, 23, said he still has some minor pain and swelling, but that was to be expected. He said he is in pretty good shape skating in a straight line. The next step is strengthening the leg so it can withstand the turning and twisting. "The shot feels great," Stamkos said. "Obviously, one-timers and stuff you are a little hesitant, you maybe are letting that leg come off the ground a little bit. But like I said, I know that I can do it. It's not about pushing it at this stage . My shot is something that is at the back of my mind right now. It's just trying to get strong and get that skating motion back and feeling the least amount of pain as possible when I'm doing that stuff." The trip is Stamkos' first with the Lightning in Canada since his injury, and with the Canadian Olympic team expected to be announced on Jan. 7, he knew questions about his rehab, which had died down some in Tampa, would be back on the front burner.
Stamkos clear that playing in the Olympics is 'something that is a goal of mine'
Tampa Bay Times | Jan 1