Lightning’s Steven Stamkos won’t return until he’s 100 percent

Steven Stamkos doesn’t know when he’ll be back on the ice.

With only 10 regular-season games remaining for Tampa Bay, the Lightning center and captain knows his window of opportunity to return is beginning to close. Despite his ambition, he stands firm that he won’t push himself to play until he’s fully healthy.

“When I’m 100 percent, I’ll be back,” Stamkos said, via NHL.com. “Obviously you hope that’s sooner rather than later, but I have no control of the healing that goes on and the process. The timing and the conditioning and all that stuff; there’s so many factors that come into play when you’ve been out as long as I have.”

The USA’s best players nearly didn’t even compete in the 2017 tournament. With the tone of negotiations contentious, USA Hockey reached out to younger and lesser-caliber players to fill the roster. But a deal was struck March 28, three days before the puck dropped.

Under the new agreement, U.S. women’s hockey players earn more than $70,000 during non-Olympic years and as much as $129,000 in Olympic years, and also get perks like flying business class and staying in quality hotels, the AP notes.

“I’m so proud of this team for performing the way we did after battling the way we did off the ice,” said U.S. captain Meghan Duggan. “A lot of history was made.”

Friday’s gold medal victory marks the fourth straight Cheap Jerseys 90 world championship for the U.S. women.

Their sights are now set on the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. While the USA has beaten Canada in eight of their last 10 meetings, their neighbors to the north got the Cheap NFL Jerseys Nike better of the Americans at the 2014 Games in Sochi, beating them 3-2 in overtime in the gold medal game.