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Victor Hedman not flying with Lightning to Toronto, will join team Friday

The Norris Trophy finalist requested to stay in Tampa longer for a "personal matter."
Victor Hedman will not fly with his team to Toronto on Sunday night.
Victor Hedman will not fly with his team to Toronto on Sunday night. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Jul. 26, 2020
Updated Jul. 26, 2020

TAMPA — Lightning defenseman and Norris Trophy finalist Victor Hedman did not fly with the team to Toronto on Sunday night, according to general manager Julien BriseBois.

BriseBois said Hedman requested to stay behind a few more days for a “personal matter.” He skated in the team’s full training session Sunday and will continue to skate at Amalie Arena before joining the team in Canada on Friday for the NHL’s return-to-play playoffs, BriseBois said.

Related: Life inside the bubble: NHL teams briefed on amenities

Hedman was able to work out a team- and league-approved protocol that enables him to stay behind and simply extend his Phase 3 training.

He will stay behind with Mark Lambert, the team’s director of sports performance, and the two will continue their daily testing for the coronavirus.

Hedman will miss the team’s first exhibition game, Wednesday against the Panthers, but he will be able to skate in the three round-robin games against the Capitals, Bruins and Flyers, and have a few practice days as well, BriseBois said.

Hedman will travel to Toronto on a charter flight, the team said. Flying charter means he and Lambert will not have to quarantine and will just have to adhere to PCR testing as applicable, according to the NHL’s return to play document.

During their first five days in Toronto, they are allowed to perform their essential work functions and socially engage with each other (the document says it’s limited to their traveling party). They also will stay in their own hotel rooms.

Contact Mari Faiello at mfaiello@tampabay.com. Follow @faiello_mari.