It's been quite the offseason for Steven Stamkos. After leading the Tampa Bay Lightning to a surprise run to the Eastern Conference Finals in this year's NHL playoffs, Stamkos first signed a five-year, $37.5 million dollar deal this offseason. Now, he's learned that he'll be gracing the cover of NHL 2012, EA Sports' popular hockey video game franchise. Not a bad run for the 21-year old. Stamkos joined 590 The Fan in Toronto to talk about his recent string of well-earned good fortune, as well as nitty gritty topics such as his fitness regiment, how his physical fitness regiment has evolved since joining the league as a teenager and how he sees this coming year's Lightning team being after last year's deep run.
How do you see the Tampa Bay Lightening this year because you are not going to be able to sneak up on anybody?
"Well that's the thing that is the challenge for the group of guys this year in Tampa is that we kind of set the bar now. We are not going to be able to like you just said surprise any teams. We are going to get their [opponent's] best every night and the past two years don't mean anything now. We're a new team. We have a new found confidence in ourselves and we showed that in the playoffs and we gotta find a way to stay consistent. That's the thing I thought we really came together as a group in the playoffs and we had to be fast. We had a lot of guys and this was their first playoff experience and we got as far as we did. We now have that as playoffs experience and we gotta use that moving forward. It's going to be a challenge. This upcoming year is going to be tougher than last year because teams know what to expect now when they play us now."
You are the EA Sports NHL 2012 cover? How did that feel when you got that phone call?
"Oh I was very excited. That was something. I really thought I would never be on the cover of the game. I was honored they picked me out of all the guys in the NHL. It's a game I have played since I was six years old and got as a christmas gift every year and always created yourself in the game and never did you think you would actually be on the cover, so I thought that was a really exciting time for me and I can't wait for the game to come out."