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Stamkos to miss 1-3 months; Drouin recall possible for Lightning

Steven Stamkos

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) reacts after the New York Rangers scored a goal during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)


The Tampa Bay Lightning won their game on Saturday, yet tonight is an evening of huge loss, as they announced that Steven Stamkos is expected to miss one-to-three months.

The reason: a blood clot was discovered in Stamkos’ arm, which will require surgery on Monday, according to multiple sources including Bryan Burns of the team’s website.

“Obviously this situation is extremely disappointing because I wanted to help my team clinch a playoff spot and prepare for the start of the postseason,” Stamkos said. “During my recovery I will do all I can to help my teammates, and I hope to rejoin them soon in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.”

That window of recovery absolutely opens up the question regarding whether Stamkos has played his last game with the Lightning this season ... or ever, with unrestricted free agency looming.

Yikes. The best-case scenario isn’t as bad, mind you:

Of course, one player’s injury can often translate to a huge opportunity for someone else, and the Lightning aren’t closing the door on a possible return from prodigal project Jonathan Drouin.

Bad luck strikes Lightning

One cannot help but feel a little bad for the Bolts.

Most directly, this is an enormous blow to a Lightning team that also lost Anton Stralman to a significant injury not that long ago. It’s also a strange twist as far as blood clots hitting this team:

The East may very well be slim pickings, at least on paper.