For the second time in a month, Claude Giroux has been passed over.
On Thursday morning, Team Canada general manager Steve Yzerman announced he would fill the spot on the Olympic roster left vacant by the injured Steven Stamkos with right wing Martin St. Louis. It's now official: Giroux will not be headed to Sochi.
This time, however, he was prepared for disappointment.
"I didn't give myself hope," Giroux said. "I didn't want to be disappointed again. It's unfortunate for Steven, he worked hard to come back and wanted to try to make the team and try to play. It's too bad to for him."
Both Stamkos, who broke his leg Nov. 11, and St. Louis play for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Yzerman also serves as the Lightning's GM.
Giroux was on a short list of players considered to replace Stamkos once the Lightning announced he was not healthy enough to compete on Wednesday afternoon (see story). All along, the final decision was believed to have come down to him and St. Louis.
Since the original Jan. 7 Olympic announcement, Giroux has built a strong case to make Team Canada as a replacement. He has 17 points in 15 games since being snubbed, including nine points in his last five games. No player in the NHL has more points than Giroux (30) since Dec. 17.
That said, Yzerman has also twice passed over St. Louis, leaving him off this year's team at first, as well as 2010's team in Vancouver. St. Louis, too, has made a strong case to go to Sochi; the Lightning captain has more points than any other Canadian-born player in the NHL since the 2010 Olympics (310).
Giroux, who said he did not allow himself to be distracted by the past 24 hours, said he was happy for St. Louis to get the chance to represent his country.
"I'm just focused with tonight's game [against Colorado]," Giroux said. "Good for Marty to be able to go to the Olympics."