Thursday, November 26, 2009

Highlight reel material for Steve Yzerman

The Steven Stamkos show came to the centre of hockey's universe on Wednesday night as Tampa Bay's young star once again showed what many have been talking about in this early stage of the NHL season.

Already leading the team in goals with 15 in 21 games, he's making quite the name for himself with 24 points so far in the season and a number of goals replayed nightly on the major sports channels of North America, including what many say may be the goal of the year from last week in Anaheim (see above).

And while he's no doubt enjoying his run as the sensation of the year so far, he has one bit of unfinished business that he's hoping to attend to. Stamkos was not included in that Team Canada orientation session of earlier this summer. 46 names appeared on the rosters compiled by Steve Yzerman, two of his fellow team mates Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis in Tampa included.

Since then Stamkos has done nothing but shine in the NHL, outperforming both Lecavalier and St. Louis on the Tampa roster and with that success has come the low rumblings that when Yzerman makes that final decision on December 31st, Stamkos should find his name included on that roster sheet.

It's hard to argue against the idea, Stamkos has played a fast paced game for the first quarter of the NHL season, and you can't deny his stats package thus far, yet concerns that he may yet be too young continue to be voiced, leaving Yzerman in a tough spot, take the risk that Stamkos' success so far is indicative of what he could bring to the Olympic team in February or stick with a more tried and true approach of key veterans combined with established up and coming stars.

The next eighteen games provides Stamkos with more opportunity to sway the vote at Hockey Canada, his first twenty four games have certainly laid the path to Vancouver, all he needs now is a nod of the head from Steve Yzerman.

So far the addition of Stamkos could prove to be one of the harder decisions for the Team Canada GM to have to make over the next month, if the pace that Stamkos is on continues it may end up being one of the easiest.

National Post-- Stamkos argues his case
Toronto Star-- Stellar start has Stamkos eyeing Olympic team
Globe and Mail-- Stamkos playing his way into Olympic consideration

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