Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos is feeling great, saying this is the best he has felt since undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair a lateral meniscus tear back in November, via Joe Smith of The Tampa Bay Times.
— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) September 5, 2017
As a result of the injury, Stamkos played in just 17 games last season, scoring nine goals and dishing out 11 assists while recording a plus-three plus/minus stat over 304 minutes of total ice time. The four-time All-Star was originally selected by the Lightning with the first overall pick of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
He made his NHL debut shortly after, playing in 79 games for Tampa Bay during the 2008-09 campaign and impressing by racking up 23 goals and 23 assists across 1,180 minutes on the ice. The following season, Stamkos led the league with 51 goals, with a league-leading 24 of them coming on the power play. In addition, the 27-year-old handed out 44 assists. In the 2011-12 campaign, Stamkos’ fourth NHL season, he once again led the league in scoring, finding the back of the net 60 times.
Up until last year, the Canadian had never scored less than 25 goals in a season since his rookie season, recording over 40 goals four times.
Stamkos helped lead Tampa Bay on a fantastic playoff run in 2015, scoring seven goals and tallying 11 assists in 26 postseason contests as the Lightning advanced all the way to the Stanley Cup Final. The following season, Stamkos underwent surgery for a blood clot in April and was limited to just one playoff game.
Tampa Bay is now coming off a disappointing 2016-17 campaign that saw the club miss the postseason.