Stamkos: Johnson would 'excel' on World Cup stage
The Lightning have an NHL-high 12 players in this World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, not to mention head coach Jon Cooper.
But there are some who also think there could be at least one more: center Tyler Johnson.
Johnson, a former All-Star, was left off Team USA's original roster. And after Lightning wing Ryan Callahan had to pull out of the tournament due to hip surgery, Johnson was passed over as a replacement over Devils wing Kyle Palmieri. Palmieri, a 30-goal scorer, was a healthy scratch in Saturday's stunning 3-0 loss to Europe.
Team USA put an emphasis on grit for this tournament, but after getting shut out in its last three games (including the last two at Sochi Olympics), Johnson might have come in handy. Johnson, who played for USA at the 2014 World Championships, has 42 points (21 goals, 21 assists) in 47 playoff games.
"He's a great player, he's been a producer in big time moments," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, who is on Team Canada. "You'd think a tournament like this would be the type of stage where he'd excel. But again, that's a question you'll have to ask (Team USA) management."