Martin St. Louis added to Canada’s Sochi Olympics hockey team
SOCHI, Russia — Canada’s Olympic hockey selection committee snubbed speedy Tampa Bay Lightning forward Martin St. Louis when it submitted its Sochi roster a month ago. The committee didn’t make that mistake again Thursday, when it had to find a replacement for injured Lightning center Steven Stamkos.
St. Louis, the NHL’s scoring champion last season, took the open spot hours after the Lightning said tests had showed that Stamkos had not fully healed from surgery he underwent in November to insert a rod in his broken leg.
St. Louis’ speed should be an asset to Team Canada on the Olympic-sized rink, which is 15 feet wider than NHL ice surfaces.
St. Louis, 38, had 25 goals and 54 points in the Lightning’s first 56 games. He had eight goals and 14 points in his first 10 games after Canada omitted him from its original roster, but he said at a news conference Thursday in Tampa that he hadn’t been fueled by anger over not making the team.
“I don’t think it’s motivation. I’ve been motivated the past four years ... the past 10 years,” said the 5-foot-8, 180-pound St. Louis, who was never drafted but has defied his doubters thanks to his speed and scoring skills.
Stamkos had appeared to be progressing rapidly after his surgery and had resumed skating. But a CT scan showed that the fracture site hadn’t completely healed and the team’s doctor would not clear him to play.
Stamkos acknowledged his disappointment at being unable to play in the Olympics but said he was happy for his teammate.
“I don’t see this as Marty replacing me,” Stamkos said. “I see it as Marty deserving a spot on this team and going over and hopefully bringing back a gold medal.”
Canada mulling replacement in men’s hockey for injured Steven Stamkos