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Stamkos, St. Louis on opposite sides of Olympic fate

TSN.ca Staff

1/7/2014 5:23:36 PM

Steven Stamkos' injury was not enough to prevent him from being named to the squad as Canada general manager Steve Yzerman is fully aware of what the 23-year-old can do when healthy.

Fielding questions after the announcement, Yzerman noted that the brain trust had to take a chance on Stamkos being healthy, since they would be unable to add him to the roster later on.

"If he's healthy he's one of the 25 best players, obviously, in Canada," Yzerman said after the roster announcement.

"His rehab and recovery are going very well," Yzerman said. "The doctors are pleased with what they see on X-ray and I think every day people see the updates of him skating and whatnot. He's pushing himself extremely hard."

Stamkos is still skating on his own as he recovers from a broken leg. The native of Markham, Ontario has been out of action since crashing into a goal post in Nov. 11.

Still, Yzerman stressed that his team is willing to be patient with Stamkos.

"We'll see how this X-ray goes. He'll continue to work and we'll wait and we'll make that decision when we get closer to the Olympics."

The announcement was not as kind to Stamkos' linemate Martin St. Louis. The 38-year-old has managed 38 points this season despite playing the majority of it without Stamkos.

Still, the Canadian brain trust made the decision to leave the veteran off the roster, despite Yzerman having a long look at St. Louis as Tampa Bay Lightning general manager.

"I guess we thought with Steve Yzerman being the executive director of Team Canada and the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning and with Marty St. Louis playing as well as he did, especially after Steven Stamkos went down with injury that he would be there," TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie said.

"But we also sensed all along that the coaching staff might not have been as big on Marty St. Louis as the management team or as Steve Yzerman might have been."

St. Louis meanwhile, voiced his disappointment after Tampa Bay's 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday.

"For Team Canada, you guys can imagine how I feel, obviously, I'm extremely disappointed and I'll just leave it at that," he said, refusing to speak more about the issue.

In the end, it put Yzerman in a difficult professional position.

"You've got to hand it to Steve Yzerman," McKenzie said. "That's a personally – and even professionally, with the impact that this could have with the Tampa Bay Lightning – a huge blow to St. Louis and his psyche right now."

Lightning head coach Jon Cooper says that despite being a veteran, being cut is still hard on a player like St. Louis.

"He's a human, so I don't care if he's one year in the league or 20 years in the league, I'm sure he's extremely disappointed, as we all are," said Cooper. "Knowing Marty, this is probably going to motivate the snot out of him."

St. Louis is not expected to address the media until after the Lightning's game Tuesday night in Winnipeg.