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A day at the beach

Posted Oct 25, 2008 by Erik Erlendsson

Updated Oct 25, 2008 at 07:18 PM

Lightning center and No. 1 overall draft pick Steven Stamkos is making the transition this season from junior star to NHL regular. Throughout the season, the 18-year-old from Markham, Ontario, will share his experiences with Tribune writer Erik Erlendsson and provide a weekly diary to provide Tribune readers an insight to a new way of life along his rookie journey.

We had a few days off so I was able to get to the beach with my girlfriend, who was in town for a couple of days, so that was pretty cool to go to the beach in the middle of October. It was a great day, we had a lot of fun. We went to St. Pete Beach, which is about a 20-minute drive from home, so that’s pretty convenient. We walked around the sand, went in the water and enjoyed the beautiful weather, and we really kind of lucked out because the last couple of days have been cloudy and rainy, so it was nice.

It was her first time down to Tampa and it was a good experience for her. She was really liking the weather and soaking up the sun as much as possible, but then it was back to reality for her when he had to go back home [to Toronto].

On Friday I went over and had dinner at [Ryan] Malone’s house with [Mike] Smith, we went over there and had a good steak dinner, played some pool and watched some hockey. It’s been a pretty relaxing couple of days, but at the same time trying to focus in on [Saturday’s] game.

We had three days off between games, but they are not complete days off because you are still at the rink for practice. It’s been tough because we kind of want to get back into the groove of things and playing games every other night. It’s tough when you have to prepare for one game in five days, so hopefully we can get things back. We have our first official road game of the year coming up [Tuesday] in Toronto so that’s pretty exciting.

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