Don’t worry Bolts fans. That noise you just heard was not in fact, the impending apocalypse. In fact, it was quite the opposite. I am pretty sure the noise was the collective screams of the entire Bolts Nation. According to a report by Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times, Lightning center Steven Stamkos is planning to make his return on home ice on Saturday as the Bolts face off with the Detroit Red Wings.
Stamkos says his target date to play is Saturday at home vs Red Wings. Will determine Olympic participation off that game.
— Damian Cristodero (@LightningTimes) February 3, 2014
After participating in that encounter, Stamkos will be able to determine if he will be able to join Team Canada as they head into Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
The Games are set to kick off on Thursday. Thankfully for the 6’ tall 190 pound center, Men’s Hockey doesn’t begin until February 12th, which has given Stamkos a little more time to properly heal and be able to evaluate his situation a little closer.
Now, at this point, this is his target date. As with any “plans” things may change based on his condition, but this is his plan going forward. I can think of no better place for him to make his return than on home ice at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Before being taken out in what some have referred to as the “break heard around the world,” Stamkos had already netted himself 14 goals and 9 assists for a total of 23 points in 17 games. This would have put in right on pace with the current NHL goals leader Alex Ovechkin.
Now that we know what the plan is, all of us here in the Bolts Nation can breathe a sigh of relief and know that our superhuman Alternate Captain will be back out on the ice soon.
We will keep you up to date on the situation should anything change, or when new information is made available.