Steven Stamkos has not played a game for the Tampa Bay Lighting in the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs, but that could change as the team is set to compete in the Stanley Cup Final.
According to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston, Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois wouldn't rule Stamkos for the series against the Dallas Stars. However, the Bolts captain will not compete in Game 1 on Saturday.
Julien BriseBois says Steven Stamkos hasn't been ruled out for the #StanleyCup Final but isn't likely to play in Game 1.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) September 18, 2020
If Stamkos ends up playing the Stanley Cup Final, there's no telling how he'll perform. Remember, the 30-year-old hasn't played a game since the regular season was halted in March.
With everything on the line, head coach Jon Cooper will do whatever it takes when it's all said and done. If he thinks Stamkos can make an impact, maybe he'll be inserted into the lineup. Otherwise, Tampa Bay will have to continue playing with the lineup it's rolled with throughout the postseason.
Tampa Bay defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets, Boston Bruins and New York Islanders to move on to their first Stanley Cup Final appearance since the 2014-15 season. The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Bolts in six games to win the title that season.
The Lightning have not won a Stanley Cup since the 2003-04 season. Dave Andreychuk, Dan Boyle, Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis were among the Lightning players to help get the job done for the franchise's lone Stanley Cup victory.