Canada's Stamkos to miss Sochi games
Prolific Canadian goal scorer Steven Stamkos will miss the Sochi Olympics because his broken leg has not healed, depriving the defending ice hockey champions of one of their best players.
"Today is obviously very disappointing for me," the Lightning center said in a statement released by the team.
"I honestly believe that we did everything possible in order to have my injured leg ready in time for the Olympics, but I realize you can't force healing.
"I know, in the best interest of my long term health, I cannot represent Canada in Sochi, as much as I would like to."
Team Canada is expected to announce Stamkos's replacement in the next few days.
Stamkos, who turns 24 on Friday, fractured his tibia during an NHL game against the Boston Bruins in November, causing him to miss 39 regular season games.
Stamkos won gold at the world junior championships in 2008 and played for Canada at the world under-18 tournament and multiple world championships.
He was not selected for the gold medal-winning Canadian team for the 2010 Vancouver Games.