Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos said his surgically-repaired right leg is feeling better than at the end of last season. Stamkos, 24, broke his right tibia last November and returned in March for the rest of the season.
Stamkos, 24, broke his right tibia last November and returned in March for the remainder of the season. He had a screw removed from his leg last month and still has one which will not be removed unless it becomes a problem.
“It feels much stronger,” Stamkos said. “Mentally, too, you’re in a better state. It’s amazing what time and being able to work on it, being able to strengthen it kind of at your own pace and at your own time and how your body reacts. It’s amazing week after week how much better it feels and how much closer it’s getting to where it was before. I’m excited about that.
"Sometimes you still have to look back, and it hasn't even been a year yet [since the injury]," Stamkos said. "Usually they say stuff like that takes a full year to where it feels as close, but it never feels exactly the same. But it's way better off than where it was at the end of the year."
In 37 games last season, Stamkos had 25 goals and 15 assists for Tampa Bay. In six seasons with the Lightning, Stamkos has 233 goals and 193 assists.
The Lightning finished last season 46-27-9 before losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Montreal Canadiens.
- Paul Palladino