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Hearing from some of the greats
Posted Mar 21, 2009 by Erik Erlendsson
Updated Mar 21, 2009 at 07:26 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 19-year-old from Markham, Ontario, will share his experiences with Tribune writer Erik Erlendsson to give readers an insight into a new way of life during his rookie journey.
I can just tell, myself, coming to the rink everyday now, I feel more confident, whether it’s in practice or in a game. You have that quiet self-confidence or the swagger that all good players need to be successful and you realize that I have that ability to go out there and be a guy that can make in impact on this game. To have some other players from other teams come and say that to me helps with that part of the game.
Curtis Joseph came over and talked to me after Tuesday’s game against Toronto, which I thought was pretty cool because I idolized him growing up in Toronto. He talked to me, too, after the first time Toronto was here and I got one by him, then to get another one is pretty special. We talked about, before the shootout, how Luke Schenn came over to him and told him he thought I was going backhand and I kind of saw that so it changed my opinion of what I was going to do. He told me after that he didn’t expect me to take a slap shot at all. But it’s pretty cool anytime somebody you grew up idolizing from your home team comes and talks to you after the games.
The last time we played New Jersey, [Brendan] Shanahan stopped me after the game in the hall and kind of said some of the same things [about watching me progress as a player]. It’s pretty special that players who are potentially hall of famers, including Gary Roberts, for them to take time to stop and talk to a young guy like me and say those nice things is special. It’s tough to even put words that they would go and specifically have in their mind that they want to come talk to me, that means a lot to me and I’m grateful for that. Hopefully I can entertain them for years to come.