Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos suffered a broken leg in yesterday's matinee in Boston. He was backchecking and got tangled up with Dougie Hamilton, crashing hard shin-first into the goal post. It was hard to watch him writhing in pain and being taken off the ice on a stretcher. He was diagnosed with a broken tibia and will undergo surgery today. He is listed as out indefinitely, and this immediately cast a dark cloud not just over the Lightning, who have started the season surprisingly well, but his status for Canada's Olympic team. We will know more about the length of his absence in the days that follow, but for now we send Stammer our warmest thoughts and wishes for a speedy recovery. [Hockey Hurts]
In other bad news for Tampa, Sami Salo (lower body) and Keith Aulie (upper body) also got injured in yesterday's game and neither returned. This picture of Sami Salo holding Stamkos's hand while he was being tended to on the ice was touching, and then he himself got injured later. Following Joni Pitkanen's injury, Finland can't afford to lose any more of their few NHL-quality defensemen, but they do have youngsters like Olli Maatta and Rasmus Ristolainen to step up if needed.
Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2013 was inducted last night in Toronto. Brendan Shanahan, Chris Chelios, Scott Niedermayer, Geraldine Heaney, Fred Shero. Speeches were brimming with humility, gratitude and respect for their families, coaches and peers. It was wonderful to see them all, but the most special, touching moment for me was Ray Shero's beautiful speech (and Bob Clarke's introduction) on behalf of his late father, the great Fred Shero, whose honor is long overdue. Transcript and video are here. It was funny and heartwarming to reed reactions and tweets from all those sniffling and emotionally conflicted Pens and Flyers fans afterwards. Keep your tentacles to yourself, Mr. Snider, Ray's all ours.
Ray Shero spent the last few days in Toronto at HHOF ceremonies and GM meetings, but in between those duties he was spending time on Team USA-related tasks, including attending a Maple Leafs-Devils game featuring several roster hopefuls with David Poile. [PPG]
Speaking of Team USA hopefuls, Paul Martin is unlikely to play against the Flyers tomorrow [PPG]. 19-year-old Olli Maatta still needs to fulfill his military obligation to Finland, which is far from naive time-wise. [PPG]
Billy Beane he is not, but Dave Nonis took part in a sports analytics panel at the PrimeTime Sports Management Conference in Toronto yesterday. Essentially he admitted the Leafs dabble in advanced stats minimally, mainly due to poor arena data keeping, uncertainty over which stats to use over others, and in the end still rely chiefly on the good old eye test when evaluating players. [Globe & Mail]
Have a great day, everyone.