Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Paul Ranger leaves the team for personal reasons (updated)
Not many details right now, but Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Paul Ranger has indefinitely left the team for what the Lightning calls personal reasons. Ranger was scratched from Saturday's game with the Sabres and did not practice Sunday.
Coach Rick Tocchet said Sunday Ranger had asked for a "personal leave," but declined to say more, citing Ranger's privacy. The Lightning is expected to make a statement later today.
The team released this statement:
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Paul Ranger has been granted an indefinite leave of absence by the team, Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced today. Ranger, who missed the team’s game against the Buffalo Sabres this past Saturday, will return to the Lightning as soon as he is able.
“Before Saturday’s morning skate for the Buffalo game, Paul indicated to coach Rick Tocchet that he and the team might be better served if he took a personal leave,” Lawton said upon making the announcement. “After some internal consultation and further discussions with Paul, we agreed with him on both fronts and intend on allowing him the personal time he needs. There will be no further comment from the Lightning or our players and coaches on this matter and we ask that everyone please respect Paul’s privacy at this time.”
Ranger, in his fifth year with the Lightning, has played in eight games this season, recording a goal and an assist. He ranks fifth on the team in average ice time with 20:19. Ranger has played in 270 career NHL games, all with Tampa Bay. He has scored 18 career goals and registered 92 points. Ranger has also played in 11 Stanley Cup Playoff games.