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Lightning dealt with these serious injuries during Stanley Cup repeat

Lightning dealt with these serious injuries during Stanley Cup repeat

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JULY 02: Victor Hedman #77 of the Tampa Bay Lightning is congratulated by Nikita Kucherov #86 after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period in Game Three of the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Bell Centre on July 02, 2021 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Broken hands, nerve blocks, surgeries, and plenty of pain: these are the types of injuries the Lightning needed to endure to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. During press availability on Tuesday, Lightning GM Julien BriseBois detailed some of the injuries players fought through.

BriseBois detailed injuries experienced by Lightning players including Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, Alex Killorn, Blake Coleman, and Ryan McDonagh. It’s a pretty dizzying list of players who likely experienced dizzying pain.

Lightning injury list is lengthy following Stanley Cup repeat

Maybe the best news -- and perhaps something to dull future complaints about the Lightning being over the salary cap? -- is that BriseBois said he expected everyone to be ready for training camp. (Of course, not everyone would fit under the salary cap. So consider that everyone who’s still around.)

Let’s roll through the Lightning’s injuries from that Stanley Cup repeat.

  • As noted above, Victor Hedman is expected to need up to a month to recover from a torn MCL. Apparently, Hedman suffered that knee injury on March 30, which likely explains why he struggled by advanced metrics.
  • After (controversially) missing the entire regular season recovering from surgery, Nikita Kucherov accrued new bumps and bruises. That included a broken rib, which required Kucherov to wear a flak jacket and receive “nerve block” injections.
  • Both Barclay Goodrow and Ryan McDonagh suffered broken hands during that Stanley Cup repeat run.
  • Alex Killorn missed most of the 2021 Stanley Cup Final series after suffering a broken fibula. Now it’s clearer why it seemed like Killorn had at least an outside chance to return:

Beyond those injury updates, it wouldn’t be surprising if other Lightning players were dealing with ailments. Steven Stamkos, for one, seemed a little banged up at times.

Even the Stanley Cup itself suffered an “upper-body injury” during the Lightning repeat run celebration.

No LTIR/salary cap circumvention this time?

Based on those early injury updates from Lightning GM Julien BriseBois, it seems like there won’t be Kucherov-style LTIR salary cap shenanigans. But maybe we should wait until we see how the Lightning actually manage their salary cap situation? The Seattle Kraken expansion draft could be particularly illuminating.

It won’t be easy, but then again, neither is repeating as Stanley Cup champions. Just consider the toll it took on Lightning players.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.