Steven Stamkos said he missed playing for Canada at the world championship that wraps up today in Helsinki, Finland, but does not regret the decision to rest and rehabilitate his aching left shoulder.
"It feels good," the Lightning center said of the irritated bursa sac with which he played the last month of the season.
"It was just nice to get that month of rest and relax and make sure it was healthy so it didn't hinder me when it came to training."
Stamkos, 22, who this season became the 20th NHL player to score 60 goals, was in Tampa on Saturday to receive the Award of Excellence from the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tamp Bay, given to "outstanding role models who give of their time to charitable causes."
He said he expects to this week begin his summer workout program back home in the Toronto area with fitness guru and former Lightning player Gary Roberts. Had Stamkos played for Canada, which last week lost in the world quarterfinals to Slovakia, the timetable would have been substantially pushed back.
"You want to represent your country every time you can, and I definitely did watch and follow the tournament," said Stamkos, who played in 2009 and '10, "but you have to make sure you take care of your body first.
"I would obviously have loved to have been there, but at the same time, you have to make sure you're feeling healthy at the end of the summer. My priority is to win with Tampa, and it's nice to get that rest."