Training Camp Buzz: Stamkos to be full participant for Lightning


Welcome to the 2020-21 NHL training camp buzz. The 24 teams that qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season are beginning training camp on Sunday. The other seven teams began camp on Thursday.

Here’s a look around the League at the latest from training camps:


Tampa Bay Lightning

Steven Stamkos will participate with no restrictions when the Tampa Bay Lightning hold their first practice of training camp Monday.

The forward had core muscle surgery Oct. 7. After sustaining a lower-body injury before the 2020 postseason, Stamkos returned in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Dallas Stars on Sept. 23. He scored on his first shot, but it turned out to be his only shot. He played 2:47 in the 5-2 win and sat out the rest of the Tampa Bay’s championship run.

“I’m feeling much better than the last time I was on the ice, that’s for sure,” Stamkos said Sunday. “So yeah, I’ll be ready for camp, and expectation is to have a full camp and be ready for the start of the season. I’m excited about that.”

The Lightning open the season against the Chicago Blackhawks at Amalie Arena on Jan. 13 (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

“He looks unbelievable on the ice, so I can tell he’s ready to go and he’s excited about it,” defenseman Victor Hedman said. “So are we as his teammates and as a whole team. We’re excited to get him [back] again.” — Nicholas J. Cotsonika


Buffalo Sabres

Victor Olofsson did not practice with the Sabres on Sunday because of an upper-body injury sustained when he crashed into the net during practice Saturday. The forward is considered day to day. 

Olofsson scored 42 points (20 goals, 22 assists), tied for fourth among NHL rookies, in 54 games last season.

His injury continues a string of early misfortune for the Sabres. Center Jack Eichel was expected to miss practice for the third straight day Sunday with an upper-body injury sustained during training. Goalie Linus Ullmark is quarantining because of an immigration issue but is expected to be available in a few days. 

Eichel and Olofsson are two-thirds of Buffalo’s projected top line with Taylor Hall. — Amalie Benjamin 

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