Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Callahan will be sidelined for five months after having surgery on a torn labral muscle in his hip on Tuesday.
Callahan will miss the World Cup of Hockey Tournament at will take place that the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario from September 17 to October 1. He is also expected to miss the start of the upcoming season as well.
The Lightning will open the 2016-2017 on October 13, when they host the Detroit Red Wings at Amalie Arena.
Callahan was selected to represent Team USA last May, when the first 16 roster spots were named. In 73 games with the Lightning, Callahan scored 10 goals and 18 assists, while adding two more goals and two more assists during the Bolt’s 16 playoff games.
Callahan had been dealing with the lower body injury since the end of the regular season and throughout the playoffs, despite helping the Lightning advance to the seventh game of the Easter Conference Finals against the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
With Callahan out of the World Cup, it likely opens the door for Phil Kessel, to take his spot on the squad. Before deciding on the surgery, Callahan had hoped that that he could get through the injury with rehabilitation.
His agent, Steve Bartlett said, “These are all part of the tough decisions you make. Cally has a ton of pride and I think the worst thing for him is not feeling like he is 100 percent. By making this decision, knowing him, I do not think he will miss a whole lot of the season, which is his first and foremost to him, Tampa and his teammates. The World Cup is nice. The real NHL schedule is his priority.”
Bartlett added, “Rather miss the first month of the season, than the last.”
During the summer of 2014, Callahan signed a six-year, 34.8-million-dollar deal with the Lightning. The Bolt’s alternate captain, is also one the team’s biggest leader. Teammate Brian Boyle added, “He can change the momentum of the game in one shift. He is a huge part of our team.”
Callahan’s injury probably will not change the Lightning’s offseason plans, but it will open a spot early in the season for the organization.