One day before the Lightning return to action head coach Jon Cooper joined the Sports Page, giving an update on Steven Stamkos' near return from injury as well as the swirling rumors that Martin St. Louis asked to be traded.
Contrary to initial reports Cooper confirmed that Stamkos will make the road trip with the Lightning -- but will not play in any of the four games. Tampa Bay takes on Nashville Thursday night followed by games at Dallas, Colorado and Saint Louis.
"It should be that homestand when he comes back," Cooper said, referring to the six-game stretch that begins March 6.
He added that at a recent practice Stamkos looked like the "same 'ol" player as to before he broke his leg.
As far as the St. Louis rumors, Cooper said they must be "difficult to here" for St. Louis, who was not happy when initially left off the Team Canada roster.
Cooper informed Tom Jones and Rick Stroud that both St. Louis and Sami Salo, who won medals over the weekend, were given the option of missing Thursday's game but passed and will likely be at practice (also optional) Wednesday.
Here is the full conversation from Wednesday morning's Sports Page: