Tampa Bay Lightning v Pittsburgh Penguins

Tampa pushes Stamkos’ love of Lightning amid Leafs homecoming speculation


Steven Stamkos has been thrust into the rumor mill lately after he briefly favorited on Twitter an article asking when an Ontario-born superstar will come to Toronto like LeBron James did with Cleveland (obviously, LeBron was also returning to the team that drafted him) and a Tweet asking if Stamkos and fellow Ontario-native John Tavares might eventually join the Maple Leafs in their own Miami Heat-style coup.

Stamkos still has two seasons left on his deal with Tampa Bay before he becomes an unrestricted free agent, so even if there was some merit to the idea that he might want to play for Toronto, nothing will happen in the near future. All the same, the Lightning seemed interested in combating that story this morning.

That quote is part of a larger interview that Stamkos gave to The Canadian Press on Wednesday. In the same interview, the subject of him signing with Toronto once his contract expired came up.

“We’ll see what happens. It’s a couple years away,” Stamkos said. “Right now I’m focused on what I have to do to win in Tampa, and I think we’ve really established ourselves as a team that can compete in upcoming years.”

Tough start: Lehner knocked out of Sabres debut, won’t return

Matt Puempel, Alex Chiasson, Robin Lehner
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Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.

Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.

During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.

It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.

As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.

Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.


‘Canes lose Wisniewski (lower body) 47 seconds into debut

Phil Kessel, James Wisniewski
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James Wisniewski‘s time as a Carolina Hurricane is off to a troubling start.

Wisniewski, acquired by the ‘Canes at this year’s draft, exited Thursday’s season-opener against Nashville early in the first period with a lower-body injury.

Shortly thereafter, the team ruled out his return.

Wisniewski, 31, was expected to play a fairly significant role on Carolina’s defense this year.

It’s unclear what the injury is or how severe it might be, but initial reports don’t sound good; Wisniewski appeared to be in significant pain and had to be helped off the ice.