Team Canada announced its roster for the upcoming 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos had made the team. In November, Stamkos told Tampa area reporters that playing in the Olympics was a goal of his but the 23-year-old has not played in a game since breaking his leg against the Boston Bruins on November 11.
Stamkos has been skating on his own in a non-contact capacity, including last Thursday in Calgary after the Lightning's 2-0 win over the flames.
"I'm a pretty driven guy," he told the Tampa Bay Times. "I set goals for myself and I do anything possible to attain them. If I can't attain them, at least I can look myself in the mirror and say I did everything in my power to try to attain that."
Stamkos had surgery to insert a rod in his leg seven weeks ago and was expected to be out until mid-February at the earliest. Team Canada's first game of the Sochi Olympics is February 13.
Before breaking his leg, Stamkos scored 14 goals and had nine assists in 17 games with the Lightning.
One surprise name left off of the Canadian roster is Lightning forward and team captain, Marty St. Louis. The Tampa Bay veteran had led the team in Stamkos' absence and has 38 points (17 goals and 21 assists) in 42 games. He played for Canada in 2006 in Torino, Italy, but was not a part of the 2010 team that won the gold medal in Vancouver.
In addition to Stamkos, Radko Gudas (Czech Republic), Ondrej Palat (Czech Republic), Richard Panik (Slovakia), Kristers Gudlevskis (Latvia), Valteri Filppula (Finland) , Sami Salo (Finland) will all play for their respective countries.