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Steven Stamkos

Steven Stamkos is the odds-on favorite to win the Calder this season. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Steven Stamkos is the odds-on favorite to win the Calder this season. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

BY MARK MALINOWSKI

Status: Tampa Bay Lightning center
 
HT: 6-foot-0 WT: 176 pounds
 
DOB: Feb. 7, 1990 In: Markham, Ont.
 
Hockey Inspirations: "I'd probably say my dad. He was the one who really got me involved in the game at a young age. He had a love and passion for the game and he was the one who got me out there on skates when I was around two-and-a-half years old by taking me public skating. And ever since then I fell in love with the game and he's been supporting me ever since."

Hockey Heroes: "My dad’s favorite player was Wendel Clark growing up and I was a big Leaf fan and I really loved watching him play, too. I think, in the modern era, Joe Sakic and Steve Yzerman are two guys I really tried to pattern my game after and really look up to. They're both great on and off the ice, great leaders."
 
Nicknames: “Stammer, that's it. The abbreviation of the last name, just like everyone else." (smiles)
 
Hobbies/Leisure Activities: "I loved playing sports growing up - baseball, lacrosse and soccer. Obviously, every hockey player loves golf. Just the regular things; hanging out with friends. Nothing special."

Favorite Movie: "Remember The Titans."

Last Book Read: "Hmm. I think it was probably a hockey psychology book, something along those lines."

Favorite TV Show: "Two and a Half Men."
 
Musical Tastes: "Everything. Rock, rap, country, Keith Urban, Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts, Kid Rock, Nickelback."

First Hockey Memory
: “Very early hockey memory - playing in the Edmonton Brick tournament at the West Edmonton Mall- it's probably the biggest mall in Canada, we had a tournament there when I was nine; and the big peewee Quebec tournament. Those are big, fond memories in my minor hockey days."

First Job
: "Selling steaks at the St. Lawrence market in downtown Markham."

First Car: "Don't have one yet."

Any ideas?: "I don't know. I might have an answer for you when I get back from Prague. Still shopping around."

Favorite Meal
: “Probably a good seafood linguini."
 
Favorite Breakfast Cereal
: “Not a big cereal guy."
 
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor
: “Vanilla."
 
Pre-Game Feeling
: “For the most part I'm pretty relaxed. I like to go out there, kick the soccer ball around, not really trying to focus on anything in particular. Feel loose. Then once the game starts, you go into a separate mindset."

Greatest Sports Moment
: “Getting taken first overall in the NHL draft."
 
Most Painful Moment
: “Probably losing that West Edmonton mall tournament in double overtime."
 
Favorite Uniforms
: “Tampa Bay."
 
Closest Hockey Friends
: “Well, I have a bunch of them. Michael Del Zotto for the Rangers, we're pretty close. (Alex) Pietrangelo. Mark Katic - my roommate back in Sarnia. Bunch of guys in Sarnia."

Funniest Players Encountered
: "Mark Katic, he got drafted by the Islanders. Here (in Tampa), probably Shane O'Brien.”

What is it about him?
: I don't know. Just the stuff that comes out of his mouth sometimes is pretty funny."

Toughest Competitors
: “Well, it's tough because I haven't really played against a lot of the guys in the NHL.

In Junior?
: “Probably (Matt) Pepe on Kitchener. He's a short, stocky guy, who just finishes his checks all the time. And you feel them when he hits you."
 
Funny Hockey Memory
: "Well, maybe it wasn't funny for me. I was going down on a shootout my first year in junior and got to the top of the circle. The puck just went - and this was to win the game - I went to stickhandle the puck and it went right in the corner. I didn't even get a shot off in the shootout to win it at home. So, it's pretty funny."

Last Vacation Spot
: “I don't even think I've been on a vacation for a while. Maybe coming to Tampa after the draft and staying by the beach.”

Favorite Websites
: "Facebook. NHL.com."

Favorite Athletes To Watch
: "I love watching baseball - Blue Jays fan. Golf. Tiger. Jim Furyk. Sergio Garcia. Big Raptors fan, too. Football - I love the Bills. I've been to a couple of Bills games. Guess I'm going to have to switch over to the Bucs now- making them my two favorite teams."

Most Memorable Goal
: “I have no clue. Biggest goal? You stumped me on that one.  Trying to think of last year...I think I had back-to-back game-winners at the end of the season to get our team up to sixth place in the standings."

Strangest Game
: “Maybe in minor hockey. We were down 5-1 in the third period and I think I scored five goals that game to come back and win 6-5. That was in minor hockey, though. When I was playing with the Markham Marks.”
 
People Qualities Most Admired
: "Just have a good personality, a good sense of humor, work hard, loyal, trustworthy. I think those are attributes everyone looks for, whether it's a friend, your girlfriend, boyfriend, teammate, coaches. Those are pretty good qualities."

Click HERE to read more "Getting to Know" features.

Mark "Scoop" Malinowski's first book "Heavyweight Armageddon: The Lewis-Tyson Championship Battle" is available at amazon.com. For more features from the world of sports, check out thebiofile.com.

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