With this afternoon’s announcement that Steven Stamkos will not participate in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Team Canada now begins the process of finding his replacement. More than likely, a backup plan has been in the works over the past few weeks, but at this time, no timetable for naming a replacement is available.
The first name that everyone seemingly is jumping to is Stamkos’ teammate, Martin St. Louis. Originally left off the Olympic roster, St. Louis’ name had been attached to most of the early speculation of what would happen if Stamkos was unable to participate. While no one can replace the offensive talent of Steven Stamkos, St. Louis has 25G and 29A so far this season. Most felt St. Louis should have easily made the roster to begin with, so how can Team Canada snub him twice?
Another name that has come up is James Neal, mainly due to potential chemistry with Sidney Crosby. Neal has recently been in a scoring slump, but if you lose Stamkos, you might as well replace him with someone who gels well with your best player.
Claude Giroux is another likely option and even though he had a slow start to the 2013-14 season, he has picked up the scoring pace in the second half. It was also speculated that Steve Yzerman favored Giroux as a potential replacement if an injury cropped up.
Maybe someone will come completely out of left field and be named the replacement.
We can keep speculating, as there is wealth of talent currently not on Team Canada’s roster. So instead, we will leave it up to you. In the poll below, let us know who you think should replace Steven Stamkos on the Team Canada roster. If you select the “Other” option, let us know in the comments section below!