Are the Bolts still Stammer's team? For the third time in the last four years, Steven Stamkos suffered a major injury that derailed his season. This time, he needed season-ending surgery to repair a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee, the same leg that needed a metal rod three years before. And for the second straight season, Nikita Kucherov finished on top of the team's scoring list, a spot that will be his for the foreseeable future. Stamkos is still an elite sniper and his patented rip from the left circle still confounds opposing netminders, but the captain's best offensive days are behind him. Don't get us wrong -- Stammer will still contend for the Rocket Richard trophy, but he's more likely to settle in with upwards of 75 points than 95. That tally would still put him in the NHL's top-10, but it should slip him out of the first round of fantasy drafts.
Stamkos picked up two assists against the Predators on Friday in his first preseason action this season. The Bolts won 3-1 and Stammer looked great. "It was great to get back out there," said the center. "I was pretty anxious about it. It was a good start, something to build on." Stamkos' knee is fully healed and he should be back near the top of your draft list.
Stamkos will make his preseason debut for the Lightning on Friday, Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Stamkos has been sidelined since November after tearing his lateral meniscus, but will rejoin the team in preseason action Monday after participating in the early portions of training camp. He's reportedly looked good, suggesting he could return to his former self and be worthy of an early-round selection in drafts.
Stamkos has looked like a man on a mission to start Lightning camp, reports the Tampa Bay Times. Stamkos has looked and felt great so far and has no restrictions entering camp. That meniscus tear and subsequent surgery last November is far in the rear-view mirror and Stammer is excited to get into preseason games soon. There's no timetable for which game he'll get into first, but he hopes to play in as many as possible. That's not typical for star players who often get rested before the season starts. Stammer should be back in the hunt for the Rocket Richard trophy this season.
Stamkos (knee) is ready for training camp, adding that his ailment is "night and day" better than it was at the end of last year, Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times reports. With Stamkos, who's been out since electing for mid-November knee surgery, noting that he isn't facing any kind of restrictions ahead of training camp, this should leave his fantasy stock soaring. The prolific pivot has sustained three significant ailments in the past four years, allowing winger Nikita Kucherov -- who tacked on 85 points in 74 games last season -- to hog the spotlight in Tampa Bay. However, Stammer's very nearly averaged a point per game since he entered the league in 2008-09, which makes the 2008 first overall pick a worthy gamble in the early rounds of fantasy drafts.
Stamkos, who's been recovering from knee surgery since mid-November, should be available for the start of training camp and also the beginning of next season, according to GM Steve Yzerman, the Tampa Bay Times reports. While Stamkos remains in recovery mode following his devastating injury -- specifically, a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee -- his agent, Mark Guy, said the stud pivot is "doing great," adding that there haven't been any issues. The Ontario native had gotten off to a blazing start to the 2016-17 campaign by notching nine goals and 11 helpers over 17 games -- factoring into seven of those scoring plays on the man advantage. Once he's 100 percent healthy, Stamkos should once again thrive on the top line with Nikita Kucherov, who tied Boston's Brad Marchand for fifth place in points at 85 last season.
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