Possible Replacements for Steven Stamkos at Sochi 2014
News broke today that Steven Stamkos, despite an incredibly rapid recovery process following a fractured tibia in November, would not be able to join Team Canada during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. In a statement, Tampa Bay Lightning and Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman stated that the team’s doctor, while pleased with the progress Stamkos has made, could not clear him to play in a “pretty clear cut decision, no gray areas at all.”
That leaves Yzerman with the task of finding someone to replace Stamkos. Although Canada has insane depth in forwards, it is doubtful that any of the options could compare to the talent, scoring ability, and Greek god-like healing ability of Stamkos. Still, someone needs to go, so here are a few of Yzerman’s best options.
Martin St. Louis - Thought to be a shoo-in for Sochi, St. Louis was surprisingly left off the Sochi roster by his own GM, despite the fact that he has been one of the most consistent scorers in the NHL over the past number of years and is still putting up great numbers this year. Could St. Louis forgive and forget for a chance at gold should Yzerman call him? Yes. Obviously. What a dumb question I just asked.
Claude Giroux - Another player once thought to be a lock, Giroux fell off the Olympic radar when he struggled early in the season. He has since turned it around, and is still an incredibly talented player that should be considered.
Wayne Gretzky - Yes, I know he’s retired and well past his prime, I’m not actually suggesting 53 year old Wayne Gretzky lace up for Canada. I’m suggesting 26 year old Wayne Gretzky. This unfortunately will require a time machine, but if Budweiser can make a giant goal light blimp I’m sure they could put their team to work on a time machine. It’s for Canada, guys.
Wolverine - Injuries are a constant fear during the Olympics, so someone with near-Stamkos healing abilities, not to mention claws in his hands, would make a good bed.
Cesar Milan, Dog Whisperer - The Sochi Olympic Committee has been having trouble with packs of stray dogs (not to mention hotels, internet, plumbing, and every aspect of running the Olympics), so I assume that Cesar could somehow train one or two to be an effective winger. Seriously, did you see him with that lab? Crazy.
Here’s hoping Budweiser comes through with that time machine, or Yzerman makes up for his mistake and picks St. Louis.