Steven Stamkos has the third most goals amongst all Canadian NHL players before the break, Crosby (42) Marleau (38) Stamkos (35). In fact, since Dec 30th, Stamkos has more points than any players on the Team Canada’s roster. In this span of 21 games, he has 14 goals, and 19 assists for a total of 33 points.
Stamkos is currently riding a franchise record-tying 13-game point streak, and was also recognized by the NHL as the first star of the week just prior to the Olympic break.
A first-overall pick in 2008, Steven Stamkos is everything the Tampa Bay Lightning was hoping for when the slumping team won their first draft lottery in ten years, since drafting Vincent Lecavalier in 1998.
A player so young with so much offensive talent, Stamkos is on pace to doubling his point production from last year with somewhere close to 94 points in 82 games.
Yet, Stamkos wasn’t enlisted in Team Canada for the Olympics this year.
Nope, he wasn’t included when Team Canada Executive Director Steve Yzerman first announced the roster on Dec 30; but then Ryan Getzalf went down with injury, and Yzerman has another chance to call upon the best player available since Dec 30.
Instead of calling Stamkos, Yzerman asked Jeff Carter of the Philadelphia Flyers to prepare to fly to Vancouver. Carter only has 27 goals and 25 assists this season. So in terms of point-production, Carter is nowhere near Stamkos’ 35 goals and 35 assists. In terms of +/-, Stamkos is +4 and Carter is +8, so hardly a huge difference. As for physicality, in terms of penalty minutes, Carter has 32 and Stamkos has 28, so again not a big difference.
What about weight and size??
Jeff Carter is registered at 6’3″ 200 pounds, while Steven Stamkos is at 6’1″ 194 pounds. So yes, Carter is slightly bigger than Stamkos, but I honestly don’t think that the 6 pounds makes that big of a difference, there are plenty of size and grit on the team already, with players like Rick Nash, Jerome Iginla, Chris Pronger and Mike Richards…etc.
Maybe it’s the age factor? Carter is five years older than Stamkos, and in NHL years, it can mean a whole lot of difference.
Of couse, this is all “moo-point” since Getzlaf is healthy enough to play, and so far Team Canada is still undefeated (after the 8-0 win against Norway). But if we still recall what happened in Turin, how Sidney Crosby wasn’t enlisted due to his young age and under-size, and how team Canada ended up 7th place in a 12-team tournament!!! (Behind Switzerland!!!)
Sidney Crosby would eventually end up with a record-breaking 102 points that NHL season.
Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself, for Yzerman’s sake.