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Martin St. Louis is going to Sochi after all.
Hockey Canada announced Thursday that the Tampa Bay Lightning captain will replace injured teammate Steven Stamkos on the defending Olympic champion's roster.
"It definitely feels great. I'm glad that people think highly of me," St. Louis said Thursday. "I try to play the game the way I know how to play. If I impress people along the way and get supporters, that's great."
For the 38-year-old St. Louis, it's sweet redemption after being a surprise omission from the original roster announced Jan. 7, as well as being passed over for the 2010 team, which won the gold medal.
|Tampa Bay Lightning captain Martin St. Louis (right), who has 25 goals and 29 assists in 56 games this season, will replace teammate Steven Stamkos for Team Canada in Sochi.|
"As upset as you can be sometimes, it's hard to turn down this opportunity," St. Louis said when asked if he considered turning down the invitation. "You've got to realize you only get a few kicks at the can. You've got to put the emotion aside and realize the experience and opportunity."
Stamkos, who suffered a broken right leg on Nov. 11, was not cleared to play by Lightning team doctors after a CT scan Wednesday afternoon revealed his right tibia had not fully healed. He will continue his rehab and be evaluated again in two or three weeks, according to the team.
"He definitely deserves a spot on that team," Stamkos said Thursday. "He's going to go over there and prove to everyone why he deserves a spot. ... Ultimately, I would have loved to go over there together. I don't see this as Marty replacing me. I see this as Marty deserving a spot on the team."
St. Louis, who has 25 goals and 29 assists in 56 games this season, was chosen as a replacement over the likes of Claude Giroux, James Neal and Eric Staal.
Craig Custance of ESPN The Magazine contributed to this report.