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Lightning lose Victor Hedman for 3-6 weeks

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 28: Victor Hedman #77 of the Tampa Bay Lightning looks to pass against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period at Amalie Arena on December 28, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning lost Victor Hedman to a lower body injury on Thursday night and it did not look great when he left the ice.

On Friday, the team announced their star defenseman will be sidelined for the next three-to-six weeks with the injury.

That is certainly not ideal, but given how it looked when Hedman left the ice it could have been significantly worse.

The injury will force Hedman to miss the All-Star game in Tampa Bay later this month. It is possible he could be replaced by one of his teammates, Mikhail Sergachev, and keep four Lightning players on the roster.

Morgan Rielly (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Charlie McAvoy (Boston Bruins) could also be candidates to replace him.

Here is a look at the play.

Hedman is having a magnificent season for the Lightning and is once again one of the best all-around defensemen in the NHL. In 44 games he has six goals to go with 27 assists and is playing a career-high 25 minutes per game. He finished in third place in the Norris Trophy voting a season ago behind Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson and was on track to be a strong contender for the award once again this season.

After being decimated by injuries a year ago the Lightning have been one of the healthiest teams in the league this season until Hedman’s injury. Even after Thursday’s loss to Calgary the Lightning have the best record in the NHL with a 31-10-3 mark.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.