More on Kolzig
Sorry this took so long to update but had a longer-than-it-should-have-been travel day. Combine that with work-related stuff, and; oh, I know, you don't want to hear it. Anyway, thought I would fill in some of the blanks on Kolzig.
Kolzig said he originally was hurt during a mid December practice when he stopped a Steven Stamkos slap shot with his left hand and his arm "felt weak." Another slap shot hit him in the palm of his hand and "torqued" his arm. "Ever since then, I've had problems," Kolzig said.
Lightning trainer Tommy Mulligan said the original MRI exam on Kolzig's left arm, which was done in December, indicated a strained distal biceps tendon. That is why rehab was prescribed. Kolzig, himself, said he would go through stretches when the arm felt better but then would have setbacks. He said one came before a Jan. 4 game with the Thrashers when he simply tried to flip a puck to a fan in the stands. he said another occurred before the Jan. 19 game with Dallas when he aggressively tried to stop a Marty St. Louis slap shot.
A subsequent MRI showed a more than 50 percent tear. Mulligan said the tendon likely kept fraying until it tore. "It just never healed, " Mulligan said. "He had a few instances in the last month when he reached to make a save and it just kept tearing a little more."
Kolzig said he spoke to Ben Shaffer, the orthopedist who will do the surgery, who told him, "It's not an injury that should happen like that. But that area, after years of wear and tear, was probably stressed and weakened."
The surgery is Saturday and entails re-attaching the tendon to the top of the radius bone. Kolzig said rehab should start in about six weeks and last three to four months. Mulligan said, "Long-term, I wouldn't suspect he would have any issues."
Kolzig, 38, who won the 2000 Vezina Trophy and led the Capitals to the 1998 Stanley Cup final, said no decisions about his future will be made until the summer and he discusses it with his family.
Where does this leave Tampa Bay?
It would seem that Karri Ramo, 22, is the logical choice to be the backup for the rest of the season, though general manager Brian Lawton said he has not made that determination quite yet. He has some time to ponder. Ramo is expected to be sent back to AHL Norfolk to serve a six-game league suspension for leaving the bench during an altercation at the end of Friday's game against Lake Erie. The suspension will be done Feb. 8. In the interim, Riku Helenius, 20, who never has played an NHL game, will be the backup.
What options does Lawton have? He can trade or pick someone off waivers.
In other words, get ready to see a lot more of Mike Smith in net. Not that he minds.
"I came to camp knowing I might play a lot of games," said Smith who already has played in 39 of 48. "There's injuries through the year. You have to deal with this that happen."
And FYI, Kolzig's injury is similar to the one that New Jersey's Marty Brodeur sustained don Nov. 1, except that Brodeur completely snapped the tendon.
Kolzig, even though his playing season is over, will be around the team once he gets back on his feet. Coach Rick Tocchet said he has invited Kolzig to work with the coaches as perhaps the eye in the sky. He also can continue to mentor Smith, who calls his relationship with Kolzig "great."
"He wants me around the team, and I love that," Kolzig said of Tocchet.
Said Tocchet: "A guy of that stature, I'd like him to be around. He's an extension of us," meaning the coaches."
So, hope that fills in some of the blanks. Read tomorrow's story, too. It gives a little more insight.