Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) against the Edmonton Oilers during the first period at Tampa Bay Times Forum. (Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Tampa Bay Lightning sniper Steven Stamkos
has been cleared for contact.
"I can't believe it has been four months already. I'm ready to get back. I've
put in the work. Hopefully it pays off," said Stamkos, who should hit the ice
for the Bolts' contest Thursday against Buffalo. "I have a new perspective on
my career as a pro athlete. I want to use this as motivation."
See Also: Marty St. Louis traded to the Rangers
Stamkos suffered a fractured right tibia while backchecking on a play in the
Tampa Bay zone in the second period of a 3-0 loss in Boston on Nov. 11,
when he got tangled with Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton. Stamkos fell to
the ice and slid feet-first before his lower right leg slammed into the right
post, forcing the net off its moorings.
He underwent successful surgery the day after the incident and has defied the
odds with a rapid rehabilitation process.
The 24-year-old forward was tied for the NHL lead in goals (14) and points
(23) at the time of his misfortune. Tampa Bay currently ranks third in the
Atlantic Division, and fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 34-23-5 record.
The club attempted to bolster its playoff positioning Wednesday in a reported
deal to acquire Ryan Callahan from the New York Rangers in exchange for
veteran Martin St. Louis.
The Sports Network