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Injury to Canadian Olympian could put Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos back in mix

TAMPA — Steven Stamkos has his vacation plans for the Olympic break. Good thing the Lightning center said he has trip insurance.

With Ducks C Ryan Getzlaf in a walking boot because of a sprained left ankle sustained Monday against the Kings, his participation for Team Canada is questionable, though an MRI exam reportedly showed no serious damage. Stamkos, one of the game's hottest players, has to be considered as a replacement, though Philadelphia's Jeff Carter also would get serious consideration.

"Obviously, you do have that in the back of your mind if someone gets hurt," Stamkos said Tuesday. "But I haven't heard anything."

Stamkos, 20, is making himself heard with a team-best 33 goals, 14 on the power play, which is tied for the league lead, and eight goals and eight assists in a 10-game points streak.

"Steven Stamkos would be in the mix," Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said. "I'm biased. If I was coaching … but there are so many good players that were left off. It would be a tough decision."

RETURN ENGAGEMENT: Former Lightning president Ron Campbell has had contact with a representative of new owner Jeff Vinik about possibly returning to his former job.

Campbell has a past business relationship with Jac Sperling, the financial adviser and alternate governor for the Wild who walked Vinik through the purchase process.

Instrumental in turning the St. Pete Times Forum into one of the nation's busiest entertainment venues, Campbell was moved out of the position in August 2008, two months after OK Hockey bought the team, and was named a special adviser. He is under contract through this season.

"I would be appreciative to have the opportunity to help revitalize the franchise any way I can," Campbell said. "That would be nice."

PARRISH SIGNS: Norfolk RW Mark Parrish cleared waivers and signed a prorated, two-way, one-year contract. The former NHL All-Star, 33, went through two tryout contracts with the AHL Admirals, getting 12 goals and 25 points in 42 games. There does not appear to be immediate plans to bring him to Tampa Bay.

TOGETHER FOREVER: It has been 16 months since D Shane O'Brien was traded to the Canucks in the Lukas Krajicek deal, but O'Brien said he still has a soft spot for Tampa Bay.

"I will remember my year and a half here forever," said O'Brien, who for the first time since the trade played at the St. Pete Times Forum. "As for the hard feelings, it's been so long, it's past.

"The day I left here was definitely one of the hardest I've gone through. I still believe at the time we had the foundation, the pieces to be a good hockey team. … There's still a part of me that wonders what would have happened if I would have stayed."

ODDS AND ENDS: Marty St. Louis' short-handed goal was his first of the season and second for the Lightning. … LW Ryan Malone's assist on Stamkos' goal was his first point in seven games. … F Jeff Halpern played his 700th NHL game. … Rays star Evan Longoria said "Let's play hockey" before the game. … RW Brandon Bochenski was scratched.

Injury to Canadian Olympian could put Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos back in mix 02/09/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 12:09am]
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