Did you hear Steven Stamkos tell a cute little fib? I’m not talking about his highly active jeans pocket that pokes that favorite button on Twitter. I’m talking about the healing of his broken leg.
When Stamkos spoke to the local media last week, he relented that yeah, that leg isn’t quite there yet but it’s feeling better.
“Sometimes you have to look back and remember it’s hasn’t even been year yet,” Stamkos told Tampa reporters. “Usually, they say stuff like that takes a full year to where it feels as close to normal. I mean, who knows? Maybe it’ll never feels quite exactly the same. It’s way better off than where it was when I ended the year. I’m pretty positive it’s just going to continue to get better as I work on it and as the season progresses. It’s going to be the best it’s felt heading into this season for sure.”
Let’s go back to last year on Stamkos talking about his rumored target date of Feb. 6, trying to come back for the Olympics. This snippet was from his scrum in December, via the Tampa Bay Times:
“I won’t be playing in the Olympics if I’m not 100 percent. That’s something I’ve said since Day 1. At the end of the day you have to look at the long-term health and look at the team here in Tampa that I want to help win a championship with, and if I’m not 100 percent I won’t be playing. I wouldn’t expect them to even take me if I wasn’t 100 percent, especially at a caliber tournament like that.”
An athlete’s heart is bigger than is mouth, if you can believe it. It’s admirable guys want to do all they can to help a team win, but when do you hold him back?
We don’t know if Stammer tweaked anything during his return, it doesn’t seem to be that way. Given that Tampa was swept out of the playoffs, would you have held Stamkos out the rest of the season? Clearly it wouldn’t have made a difference. Pain-free skating and being strong enough was all he needed to return. The full range of motion wasn’t there and as Stamkos said, might not ever be there again. That you can work with.
Stamkos zips along at a nice pace on skates and seeing him play after he came back wasn’t exactly a Robitaille pace.
If anything, let’s have reporters and teams stop using “100 percent” when it comes to health and returning from injuries. Even the Lighting’s own video showing Stamkos facing the media last week says “Getting Back to 100 Percent.” He’s not there yet.
Stamkos might as well say about his leg: “90 percent of the time, it’s 100 percent all the time.”
It’s just not needed and is often unclear what 100 percent is. Most people thought 100 percent would be pre-injury state, like nothing happened. Here, it was more about being 100 percent pain-free and structurally safe. If the definition given by the player and management doesn’t mean 100 percent, let’s throw that out. It’s a mix between a cliché and being misleading.
You know what though? This is training camp for bloggers, too. I needed some sort of morsel to get me worked up.
I feel it, man, I FEEL it. It’s 30 days until the puck drops for the regular season. I’m happy enough to go to watch training camp and preseason games.
Now that the season is approaching, here is what you should expect from this blog:
- You won’t see much in the way of game-day previews, post-game analysis and all. I’m quite busy with my day job, and I’ve made a lifestyle change to cut my cable bill down by going to limited basic while maintaining WiFi. If I’m watching the Lightning, it will either be at the gym, at the arena, in a bar or the next day on GameCenterLive. Most of the time, if I’m holding myself to getting the weight down, will be at the gym.
- I’ll also continue to provide a round-up of links to Lightning-related news as a one-stop service center for fans. Judging by what’s been posted just over the weekend, hockey is here, folks.
LIGHTNING LINKS AND BYGONE BOLTS
- “I made a mistake and I obviously have to admit that, and thankfully no one got hurt.” Ryan Malone issues an apology to Lightning staff and fans, facing reporters in New York on Monday. Malone is hoping to land a training camp invite. New York Rangers
- Tampa beat writers from the Tribune and Times also pick up on the video.
- “He’s got the full package.” Anton Strahlman talks about how Swede it would be to pair with Vickor Hedman on defense. Joe Smith | Tampa Bay Times
- Evgeni Nabokov compares the Lightning’s depth in goal back to when he was on the Sharks with Kiprusoff, Toskala and Johan Hedberg. Remember Toskala was actually pretty good in San Jose. Nobody wants to remember him in Toronto. Tampa Bay Lightning
- Ben Bishop’s elbow and wrist are getting better, but he’s still playing with a protective pad on his wrist. How bad was the elbow injury? He decided to walk to the arena downtown for rehab instead of driving. Erik Erlendsson | Tampa Tribune and Joe Smith | Tampa Bay Times and Tampa Bay Lightning video
- Here’s Erik Erlendsson’s take on the Stamkos pocket favorite excuse. Erik Erlendsson | Tampa Tribune
- And Joe Smith’s version honing in on how Stammer totes wants to be here all the time. Joe Smith | Tampa Bay Times
- Jason Garrison and I have one thing in common: Despite living in Florida, we don’t head to the beach much if at all. However, only one of us would have what’s called a beach body. Bryan Burns | Tampa Bay Lightning
- Garrison is also sporting Mattias Ohlund’s old No. 5 during informal workouts Joe Smith | Twitter
- Back on Burns, he is the new Lightning team beat reporter. He worked for the Tampa Bay Times sports department before this. He’s on Twitter @BBurnsNHL.
- One of his early Twitter beauties: Evgeni Nabokov’s new Lightning mask. Twitter
- Looks more likely Ryan Malone is getting a second chance in the NHL, with the New York Rangers. It’s a pro-tryout and if he makes it, he’ll be with other Bygone Bolts Brad Richards, Dan Boyle, Martin St. Louis and Dominic Moore.
- Steve Eminger, he of 50 games during the 2008-09 season, signed an AHL contract with the Providence Bruins, hoping it can lead to a deal with the big B’s. Watched him struggle with the Caps when he was thrown to the fire way too early but showed flashes of promise two of his final three seasons with the team but then played for five teams since then, including the Lightning. Joe Haggerty | CSN New England
- Free agent Sami Salo drops by informal workouts, sporting a wrist cast, but doesn’t skate. But you know who did go for a twirl? Vinny Prospal and Filip Kuba. Joe Smith | Twitter
- Bolts get political: Jeff Vinik kicks in $25,000 from the Lightning for a public campaign to start light rail in Pinellas County, matching donations from the Rays and Bucs. Whatever your thoughts are on this particular light rail plan, the region needs more than a trolley circulator to help get fans to the games. How many times did I drive to the Verizon Center to see the Caps play? Zero. How many times did I drive to the closest Metro station and take the subway to the game? Every time. Charlie Frago | Tampa Bay Times
- Crunch will remain the Lightning’s AHL affiliate through 2017. Lindsay Kramer | Post-Standard
TWITTER ROLL CALL
New Bolts are chatty Cathy’s on the Twitter. Here’s who’s talking