Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Stamkos has surgery, expected to fully recover

MONTREAL — Steven Stamkos had a metal rod inserted into his broken right tibia Monday. The team said the surgery performed at Massachusetts General Hospital was a success, and the all-star center is expected to make a full recovery.

Whether that takes three months — which would be the best-case scenario and seemingly make Stamkos' participation for Canada in the Sochi Olympics a close call — or longer, which would end his season, is the question.

The team said Stamkos, injured when he crashed into a goalpost in the second period of Monday's 3-0 loss to the Bruins at TD Garden, will be in Tampa on Thursday to begin rehab, though no details were provided except that the rod will be a permanent addition to Stamkos' body.

Still, there is this:

"Can we win without him?" coach Jon Cooper said. "The guys are pretty determined they can."

It could be a bumpy road in the short term as Tampa Bay also deals with injuries to defensemen Sami Salo (lower body) and Keith Aulie (upper body), neither of whom played Tuesday against the Canadiens at the Bell Centre.

Aulie and Stamkos were put on injured reserve, retroactive to Monday, to clear roster space for wing J.T. Brown and defenseman Dmitry Korobov from AHL Syracuse. Brett Connolly, a natural right wing, was moved to center, where he made a good showing during training camp.

Connolly centered the No. 1 line with wings Alex Killorn and Marty St. Louis. Brown was on the second line with center Valtteri Filppula and Teddy Purcell.

Korobov did not play, as Victor Hedman, Salo's usual partner, was paired with Andrej Sustr.

As important to the team's success as the right personnel will be maintaining the five-man defensive structure so crucial in a 13-5 start that has the team atop the Eastern Conference.

"We have to," St. Louis said. "It's gotten us where we are right now. We're well aware of what kind of piece we lost. Collectively, we have to move forward."

"We're going to play our system," Cooper said. "You can play anybody that's been in our system. You can pull guys in and out, and everybody knows what they're doing."

There is a psychological component to that as well that Cooper certainly will stoke.

"Stammer didn't score until his fourth game of the year, and we were 2-1 going into that game," Cooper said, and added, "Steven plays 20 minutes a night, so somebody else is playing the other 40."

No doubt Stamkos' offensive output will be missed. He entered Tuesday tied for league leads with 14 goals and 23 points.

But as Cooper said, "Everybody in that (locker) room is like, 'Let's prove to everyone we're not a fluke.' We're up near the top of the standings for a reason, and we're going to stay there."

Stamkos has surgery, expected to fully recover 11/12/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 11:49am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. No. 12 FSU, freshman QB James Blackman struggle in 27-21 loss to N.C. State


    TALLAHASSEE — Whatever was left of No. 12 Florida State's College Football Playoff hopes suffered a massive, likely fatal, blow Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium.

    Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Nyqwan Murray (8) carries during the first quarter of the Florida State Seminoles game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack on September 23, 2017, at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.  At the half, North Carolina State Wolfpack 17, Florida State Seminoles 10.
  2. Trump tells Warriors star Stephen Curry that White House visit is off


    SOMERSET, N.J. — Stephen Curry and President Donald Trump agree on one thing: The Golden State star is not going to the White House anytime soon.

    Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry poses for photos during NBA basketball team media day Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. [Associated Press]
  3. For starters: Rays at Orioles, facing another old friend in Jeremy Hellickson


    UPDATE, 3:29: Here is the Rays lineup, with Duda at 1B and Morrison the DH:

  4. Bucs have chance to beat Vikings in their third stadium


    Here's a cool sign that the Bucs are getting up there as an NFL franchise: If Tampa Bay can win Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, it will mark the first time the Bucs have posted road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.

    TIMES ARCHIVES (2012) | Bucs RB Doug Martin runs during Tampa Bay's 36-17 win at the Vikings in 2012, in what was then called Mall of America Field. If Tampa Bay wins Sunday, it will mark the first time they have road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.
  5. NFL commissioner, players' union angrily denounce Trump comments on national anthem


    SOMERSET, N.J. — The National Football League and its players' union on Saturday angrily denounced President Donald Trump for suggesting that owners fire players who kneel during the national anthem …

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]