Shoulder injury could keep Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos out of world championship

Published April 10, 2012

TAMPA — Lightning C Steven Stamkos acknowledged Monday what was suspected: he has a left shoulder injury that might keep him from playing for Canada in the world championship.

There is no indication the injury will require surgery, GM Steve Yzerman said, though Stamkos did have an MRI exam Monday as a precaution.

"We want to make sure everything is good in there and we're not missing anything and he's diagnosed properly," Yzerman said.

The results were not immediately available.

"We'll make a decision in the next couple of days," Stamkos said about the world championship, May 4-20 in Sweden and Finland.

Stamkos, 22, who on Saturday became the 20th player to score 60 goals in a season, said he did not know how the injury occurred, but said, "It's something that bugged me pretty good for a couple of games" and almost caused him to miss the March 10 game with Carolina.

Since then, the injury has "gotten a lot better," Stamkos said. "It's just something we want to make sure doesn't occur again."

Stamkos, who has not missed an NHL game because of injury, said the shoulder is the same one hurt during last season's playoffs, though the specifics of the injury are "a little different."

What has been a constant for Stamkos is his work load. He played in the world championship in 2009 and 2010 and played into late May during last season's playoff run.

"You get kind of behind working out a little bit and sometimes you do need a rest," he said.

Still, he said of the world championship, "Every time they've asked I've been excited to go. We'll see what happens the next couple of days and make a decision based on how I feel."

DRAFT LOTTERY: The Lightning, 10th in the draft order, will move to sixth if it wins the lottery (a 2.1 percent chance) or fall to 11th if a team behind it wins. The drawing is 8 tonight on the NBC Sports Network.

WORLD VIEW: C Nate Thompson will play for the United States at the world championship and D Victor Hedman said he will play for Sweden.

"It's going to be one of those confidence boosts that bring you into next year," Hedman said.

Added Thompson: "It's an experience I'm going to look forward to and cherish."

NORFOLK NEWS: Norfolk coach Jon Cooper, whose Admirals are on a record 25-game winning streak, was named AHL coach of the year. … D Keith Aulie was reassigned to Norfolk.