Saturday, February 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning's Ben Bishop to have surgery on wrist

TAMPA — Ben Bishop, who since January played with a sore right wrist, will have surgery next week at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio to repair a torn ligament.

The Lightning goaltender will be in a cast six weeks and faces a total rehabilitation time of three to four months. He said he is confident he will be ready for training camp. "It was a pain … all year," Bishop said Thursday.

Bishop took a battering this season. In addition to the wrist, he said the elbow injury that kept him out of he playoffs was a dislocation. He also had a previously undisclosed ankle injury.

Even so, Bishop — who said he might have played in the Eastern Conference first-round series against Montreal if it had gone to Game 6 — won 37 games and set team marks with a 2.23 GAA and a .924 save percentage.

Though the elbow injury was distressing because of the timing — Bishop said he almost cried when he found out he was out of the playoffs and captain Steven Stamkos hugged him — the wrist was most problematic. "My golf game is going to suffer," he joked.

Hurt Jan. 5 during warmups at Edmonton and reinjured Feb. 6 against the Maple Leafs, Bishop wore a cast while playing.

"Marty (St. Louis) used to give me a lot of (grief) because I probably led the league in dropped sticks," Bishop said. "I couldn't hold my stick. If anyone touched it, I had to drop it."

"It's pretty remarkable," coach Jon Cooper said of what Bishop went through this season. "He had so many things break down, it was tough. He gamed it out. We can gripe about getting swept in the first round, but without (Bishop), we probably would not have been in the first round."

IMPORTANT PIECE: GM Steve Yzerman said he is committed to getting RW Ryan Callahan signed, and Cooper said, "I really hope Ryan considers us a place he wants to spend the rest of his career, because as long as I am coaching this team, I want Ryan Callahan on the bench."

Acquired March 5 from the Rangers in the St. Louis deal, Callahan had six goals, 11 points and was plus-4 in 20 games. He had zero points and was minus-2 in four playoff games.

"I didn't have the playoffs I wanted," he said. "Losing four in a row, that falls on me, too. I could have produced more, created more opportunities."

Still, Callahan said he enjoyed his time with Tampa Bay and is "open" to returning. His agent, Stephen Bartlett, said Tampa Bay will be "in the mix. … He has a great respect for the organization. We look forward to hearing what they have to say."

REVVING UP: Stamkos said he will accelerate his summer workouts to help his right leg. The center, who missed 45 games with a broken right tibia, usually takes three or four weeks off after a season. Not this year. "It's going to take a good summer of training to get the muscle mass back, get the explosiveness and quickness back," said Stamkos, who trains in the Toronto area with former Lightning player Gary Roberts. "It's probably going to be a challenge, but it's something that needs to be done."

ETC: Yzerman said he had no new information on Ryan Malone's status. The left wing, arrested on DUI and cocaine possession charges this month, is being evaluated by the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program, jointly run by the league and players union. … Valtteri Filppula, with one assist and minus-4 in four playoff games, would not admit to playing hurt, but Cooper said the center was not 100 percent. "It doesn't really matter. I was fine to play," Filppula said. … RW Richard Panik said he will play for Slovakia at the world championship next month. C Tyler Johnson will play for the United States, USA Hockey said. Because of injuries, Filppula and LW Ondrej Palat declined invitations from Finland and the Czech Republic, respectively. D Victor Hedman said he turned down an invitation from Sweden.

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