When Lightning wing Ryan Callahan took a nasty spill into the boards Thursday night, it didn't look good.
Turns out, it wasn't. Callahan will be sidelined indefinitely with an upper body injury, evaluated after three to four weeks, per GM Steve Yzerman.
Yzerman said there's no call-up from AHL Syracuse coming, at least today. Tampa Bay still has 12 healthy forwards, with J.T. Brown likely to take Callahan's spot on the fourth line.
"I'm sick to my stomach to watch a guy work as hard as he did to come back, play so well and to have something like that," captain Steven Stamkos said.
Callahan, 32, who had missed Tuesday's game with an undisclosed injury, was playing a phenomenal game Thursday with five shots. But in the third period, Callahan tangled up with Arizona's Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who pulled the Lightning wing into the boards with him behind the Coyotes net. Callahan, hunched over in pain, skated off but wore a sling on his right arm post-game.
Callahan missed most of last season with nagging hip issues, but entered this year "hungrier than ever." Callahan had six points in 29 games (one goal), a key cog on the fourth line with Chris Kunitz and Cedric Paquette. Not to mention Callahan is one of the most respected voices in the dressing room.
"You feel so bad for him," Victor Hedman said of Callahan. "He's battled hard through the whole year, and is such an important player for us."
Said Brayden Point: "A heart and soul kind of guy."