Team Canada doesn't want to rule out Steven Stamkos just yet.
One day after the NHL's GM meetings, Team Canada's Olympic brain trust will meet Wednesday in Toronto to shorten its "list" for the 2014 Sochi Games. In addition to some already-difficult decisions, a new one popped up: What to do with Steven Stamkos?
The 23-year-old superstar is an unexpected question mark after Monday's awful tibia break that's sidelined him for an as yet undetermined period of time. Stamkos underwent what Tampa called successful surgery on Tuesday, and anyone with a soul roots for a magnificent comeback as quickly as possible.
But if Stamkos can't play, does this make room for Duchene?
Stamkos was considered part of that cast. The next step is digging to the next level of Olympic candidates.
Some young players who weren't around in 2010 have put together strong enough starts that they're in good shape now. Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche (11 goals and eight assists in 17 games) and Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks (seven and 10 in 17) have stood out.
"You can't ignore some of the younger players who have played extremely well," Yzerman said. "You cannot ignore some of the younger players that, they've always been on the radar, we've always been watching them. Well, there's starting to be a couple of them, probably, we can't leave off the team."
Brian Burke has a strict no-bullying policy in his lockerrooms.
“We already have a no-hazing policy,” said Burke, who was hired by the Flames in September. “I mean when I was a rookie in the American [Hockey] League, I got shaved, I got initiated and all that stuff. I’ve seen that happen to a lot of guys and I thought it was really stupid at the time. So we’ve never allowed hazing on any of my teams, even when I was an assistant GM back in ’87 with Pat Quinn [in Vancouver].
“No rookie initiations, no shaving, no physical abuse whatsoever. One of the forms of abuse [elsewhere] is to make the rookies [pay] a huge tab for a rookie dinner, where it costs them 15 to 20 grand. We have a cap of $5,000 on the rookie dinner. No rookie can pay more than $5,000. There’s no physical abuse, no racial abuse, no homophobic abuse. So I’m not worried about having that situation on our team.”