Ottawa, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – Hockey Canada has announced that Tampa Bay Lightning captain Martin St. Louis will take the spot of injured teammate Steven Stamkos on the defending champion’s roster for the Sochi Olympics.
“It definitely feels great. I’m glad that people think highly of me,” St. Louis said. “I try to play the game the way I know how to play. If I impress people along the way and get supporters, that’s great.”
For the 38-year-old St. Louis, it was sweet redemption after he was omitted from the original roster that was announced Jan. 7. He was also passed over for the 2010 team, which won the gold medal.
St. Louis, who has 25 goals and 29 assists in 56 games this season, was chosen as a replacement over Claude Giroux, James Neal and Eric Staal.
“As upset as you can be sometimes, it’s hard to turn down this opportunity,” St. Louis said when asked if he considered turning down the invitation. “You’ve got to realize you only get a few kicks at the can. You’ve got to put the emotion aside and realize the experience and opportunity.”
Stamkos, who suffered a broken right leg on Nov. 11, was not cleared to play by Lightning team doctors after a CT scan Wednesday afternoon revealed his right tibia had not fully healed. He will continue his rehab and be evaluated again in two or three weeks, according to the team.
“He definitely deserves a spot on that team,” Stamkos said. “He’s going to go over there and prove to everyone why he deserves a spot. … Ultimately, I would have loved to go over there together. I don’t see this as Marty replacing me. I see this as Marty deserving a spot on the team.”