Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos often has said he'd like to play at least one game with the team prior to playing for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
However, on Tuesday he said that was the best-case scenario, and he would still consider playing in the Olympics even without an NHL warmup.
"The objective is to play a game," Stamkos said after skating with his teammates Tuesday in Toronto. "That's something I would really love to do. But if that's not the case there's going to be another discussion about whether I'm still going to be on that [Olympic] team. We haven't had that. It's more like we'll cross that bridge when we need to."
Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman, who also serves as executive director of Canada's Olympic team, said much the same.
"If he gets a chance to play in a game, if he's cleared to play, great," Yzerman said. "If not, then depending on what the doctor says and how he feels, is he good to go for the first game of the tournament? He's the only one who really knows that once the doctors give him the green light to play."