Steven Stamkos out 1 to 3 months due to blood clot in arm
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos will miss 1-3 months with a blood clot in his right arm, potentially ending his season - and maybe his tenure - in Tampa Bay.
General manager Steve Yzerman said it's the same thoractic syndrome that goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy dealt with at the beginning of the season, and Stamkos will undergo the procedure Monday. It's a devastating blow, especially having already lost top defenseman Anton Stralman thorugh at least the first round with a fractured left leg.
"Incredibly bad luck for us," Yzerman said. "It never works according to plan."
Stamkos, who is due to be an unrestricted free agent in July if no agreement with the Lightning is made, leads Tampa Bay with 36 goals. Yzerman reiterated Saturday his goal is still to sign Stamkos to an extension, and the important thing is the All-Star's long-term health and career won't be impacted by this injury.
"Obviously this situation is extremely disappointing because I wanted to help my team clinch a playoff spot," Stamkos said in a statement. "I will do all I can to help my teammates, and I hope to rejoin them soon in the Stanley Cup playoffs."
The news broke after the Lightning's 3-1 win over the Devils Saturday, which put Tampa Bay's magic number at two points to clinch a playoff berth. Yzerman said Stamkos visited doctors after Thursday's game, having felt discomfort in his arm, some swelling and tingling in his fingers. On Friday he was assessed by doctors locally, which diagnosed him with Effort Thrombosis.
Yzerman said there's no immediate plan to make a callup in Stamkos absence, but admitted they have to consider recallling Jonathan Drouin, who has nine goals in the last 10 games with AHL Syracuse afte returning from suspension.
"Nobody is going to feel sorry for us," Yzerman said.