1. Lightning

Ryan Callahan out five months after hip surgery

Ryan Callahan will miss five months, which includes the World Cup of Hockey, and likely the first month of the season.
Ryan Callahan will miss five months, which includes the World Cup of Hockey, and likely the first month of the season.
Published Jun. 21, 2016

Lightning wing Ryan Callahan was playing through an undisclosed lower body injury late in the season and throughout the playoffs.

Now we know how serious it was.

Callahan, 31, underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a labral tear in his right hip, which will force him to miss five months, which includes September's World Cup and the first month of the season, which begins Oct. 13.

Callahan's surgery was performed in New York by Dr. Bryan Kelly.

Agent Steve Bartlett said the hip injury nagged Callahan for the second half of the season, leading him to miss the final three regular season games and sit out some practices during the playoffs. Callahan considered trying rehab before settling on surgery, Bartlett said. Callahan was scheduled to participate in the World Cup with Team USA, the tournament starting in mid-September.

"These are all part of the tough decisions you make," Bartlett said. "Cally has a ton of pride and I think the worst thing for him is feeling like he's not 100 percent. By making this decision, knowing him, I don't think he'll miss a whole lot of the season, which is first and foremost to him, Tampa and his teammates. The World Cup is nice. The real NHL schedule is his priority, to be ready for the that, not to take a chance that he was getting surgery in October and not June.

"Rather miss the first month of the season than the last month."

Callahan, who signed a six-year, $34.8 million deal in the summer of 2014, played in 73 games for the Lightning last season, with 10 goals and 28 points. He had two goals and four points in 16 playoff games. As an alternate captain, he's also one of the team's biggest leaders.

"He can change the momentum of a game in one shift," center Brian Boyle has said. "It's a huge part of our team."

Former Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk hinted during the playoffs on an interview with 620-AM that Callahan's injury might require offseason surgery, something Callahan didn't want to discuss then.

"Everyone's got some bumps and bruises," he said. "We'll leave it at that."

Callahan's injury opens up a roster spot, at least to start the season, up front with forwards.

"He's a hard worker and will not leave anything to chance in terms of rehab," Bartlett said. "I have no doubts when he steps back on the ice he'll be back to the Cally we know and love."