Less than 24 hours before Hockey Canada’s roster announcement for the 2014 Olympic team, Steve Stamkos made a statement of his own.
Stamkos skated for 30 minutes at the MTS Centre on Monday — in advance of Tampa Bay’s game tomorrow in Winnipeg — and said he was feeling as good as he’s felt since breaking his leg on Nov. 11.
“Probably best I’ve felt,” Stamkos said, as per TSN. “Trying to make sure it feels better each and every time I get on the ice and today was another indication of that, so I am very pleased.”
It’s expected that Stamkos, 23, will be named to Canada’s roster tomorrow — head coach Mike Babcock all but confirmed that in the immediate aftermath of the broken leg. Canada could (and most likely will) carry Stamkos on the roster right up until February, then make a decision on his ability to participate, sort of like what it did in 2010 with Ryan Getzlaf and Jeff Carter. Getzlaf suffered an ankle injury just prior to the games; Carter, tabbed as Getzlaf’s fill-in, was so close to becoming a replacement player he was actually flown to Vancouver on GM Steve Yzerman’s orders.
Stamkos has represented Canada internationally at the junior and World Championship level, but never at the Olympics. He was named to Canada’s “stand-by” list for the ’10 games and is clearly focused on being healthy to play in Sochi.
“That’s my goal,” Stamkos said. “[I’m] going to do everything I can to make sure that happens.”
Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.
“We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly.
So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.
That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”
The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.
“My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”
That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.
Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen
The Arizona Coyotes might not be using John Scott‘s services after all.
The team waived him this afternoon, per Craig Morgan. It’s possible that the Coyotes are simply giving themselves options as Scott clearing would allow them to send him down quickly at any point until he plays in 10 games or 30 days pass. At the same time, any team looking for a gritty fourth-line forward or third-pairing defenseman might be tempted to claim him in light of his affordable $575K cap hit for the 2015-16 campaign.
Scott is an imposing presence on the ice at 6-foot-8 and 260 pounds, but he doesn’t bring much to the table other than his physical play and willingness to drop the gloves. In terms of offensive abilities, he’s among the least capable in the league. In fact, the four points he recorded last season with the San Jose Sharks represented a career-high for the 33-year-old.
Meanwhile, Dan Cleary went unclaimed on waivers, according to Bob McKenzie, setting the stage for him to be reassigned to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.