Jon Cooper's bold, gut prediction on Stamkos' return from his broken leg


"I don't think the question is going to be, 'Is he coming back to play this year for the Tampa Bay Lightning?' The question is, 'Is he going to be back (in February) to play for the Canadian Olympic team?' I'm the optimistic coach, but that's how it might turn out."

Originally published in the Tampa Bay Times, the bold predication on Stamkos is exceedingly optimistic. But is it realistic? Recovery time for broken tibia's can rage from 3 - 6 months... If Stamkos, who will not have played in 3 months, makes a return for the Olympics, odds are he'd be a reservist. The worst case scenario is Stamkos returning in May - which could provide a spark if the Bolts are in the playoffs at that time.