Stamkos.. World Juniors?

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Not surprisingly, Steven Stamkos will not be attending the Canadian Junior development camp, as his time will be spent in Tampa Bay with other rookies. Whether this means they will not release him in December to play, or whether restrictions from Canada require those players who wish to play to take part in the summer development camp remain to be seen, but I think it certainly opens for some speculation.

Now, from the Lightning perspective, they are probably looking at it like this.. Steven Stamkos will be pivotal this year in rebounding the team from a disastrous finish last year, and any time spent outside of Tampa Bay is just poor player management. They will probably cite a need for him in December, and tell him the team’s success will rely on his performance (and attendance) during that stretch.

From Canada’s perspective, they have two ways of viewing this. One, they could see this as an opportunity to bring up younger talent which will lead the team in future years, and ignore the absence of Stamkos. The amount of depth in Canada’s junior system is rather impressive, and while Stamkos would be an offensive gouge, it would not necessarily be disastrous for them to try and go for five in a row.

Secondly, they could view Tampa’s decision as greedy and unfair. Obviously contractually Stamkos is bound to the Lightning, but that will probably not stop a multitude of ridiculous quotes in the media if they feel this way. I would expect they would take the former reaction, as team Canada has and will be a very respectful program when regarding the development of young players, but time will tell.

I personally think Tampa should let Stamkos partake. Regardless of their position in the standings, Team Canada provides an incredibly valuable leadership opportunity, and experience for anyone involved. Stamkos is young, and will likely remain in the Tampa Bay system for a multitude of years to come. This will be his final year of eligibility with the team, and by taking that away from him could harbor negative thoughts about the Lightning program.

About Chris Wassel

Simply I am a hockey writer who is a jack of all trades. Whether it is draft, fantasy, NHL, KHL, AHL, etc...I probably can write about it. The challenge in hockey is to be able to step out of your comfort zone and write like you are still there. Hopefully you enjoy the humor in the writing on the site and tell your friends. Thanks for reading!