News

Steven Stamkos breaks leg, puts Olympics in doubt

Ken Campbell
By:

Author: The Hockey News

News

Steven Stamkos breaks leg, puts Olympics in doubt

Ken Campbell
By:

The person for whom most people should feel terrible is Steven Stamkos. He should have been on Canada’s Olympic team in 2010 and he was a shoo-in to be part of it in 2014 until a grisly leg injury Monday afternoon.

The person for whom most people should feel terrible is Steven Stamkos. He should have been on Canada’s Olympic team in 2010 and he was a shoo-in to be part of it in 2014 until a grisly leg injury Monday afternoon.

You could just see Stamkos’s Olympic dreams evaporate the moment his right skate crashed into the post during a game against the Boston Bruins Monday afternoon. He suffered a broken leg on the play, which makes him highly doubtful for the Olympics.

What should not, and likely will not, evaporate along with the injury to Stamkos is Canada’s hopes for winning a gold medal in Sochi. If the Canadian team fails to defend its gold medal in three months, it will not be able to point to the Stamkos injury as an excuse. Not when you have that kind of depth on your roster.

If Sweden or Slovakia or Finland were to lose their equivalent to Stamkos, then you could understand. But from a performance standpoint, all Stamkos’s injury means is that someone who would have moved to the wing will now get to play in the middle. That’s all. Terrible, bordering on tragic for Stamkos, not for Canada.

Assuming Stamkos can’t play in Sochi, Canada will now have to choose among Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, Jonathan Toews, Patrice Bergeron, John Tavares, Matt Duchene, Joe Thornton and Eric Staal for its four centers. Other countries will have one message for Canada when it comes to missing Stamkos: Cry me a river.

Canada has had 389 skaters who have played at least one game in the NHL this season. USA (167), Sweden (54), the Czech Republic (32), Russia (21), Finland (18) and Slovakia (10) have 302 combined. When you remove USA from the equation, Canada has almost three times the number of skaters than all those countries combined.

Will a Stamkos injury adversely affect Canada? Of course it will. You don’t take the best goal scorer in the world out of your lineup and expect to be as good a team. But this will not fly as any kind of excuse in a country where the gold standard is, and should always be, applied.

Editor's Note: This article was updated to reflect the news Stamkos sustained a broken leg on the play.

Comments
Share X
News

Steven Stamkos breaks leg, puts Olympics in doubt