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Injury to Steven Stamkos Devastating to Tampa Bay

This season has been a test of patience for the fans, management, players and coaches of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Things took yet another turn for the bad on Saturday when the team announced that its captain Steven Stamkos would not play for between 1 and 3 months due to a vascular problem.

The news is a huge setback for the Stanley Cup finalists of last season as they enter the final week of their regular season. The team now must contemplate a run in the playoffs without their leading goal scorer and more importantly their captain.

Stamkos was held out on Saturday in a game the Lightning defeated the New Jersey Devils. An announcement was made after the game that he would undergo surgery on Monday for the vascular issue that is close to his collarbone.

The condition, according to a Thorasic Surgery website, that Stamkos has been suffering from is known as vascular thoracic outlet syndrome.

This is a result from a compression of blood vessels and or nerves that that are for the arms. Those who suffer from the syndrome are usually healthy and active.

With the correct medical treatment followed by rehab, usually there are no effects over the long term, said the website.

Stamkos prior to Saturday’s game had not missed any games in the past two seasons. However, the issue further clouds the future of Stamkos with Tampa Bay, as well as bringing about more worry over the team’s immediate playoff future.

Steve Yzerman the general manager called it bad luck and called that a big understatement.

Just recently, the Lightning lost Anton Stralman a key defenseman with a fractured fibula.

Through a team release, Stamkos said he hoped to return while the team was still competing in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

However, it is unknown if Tampa will be able to replicated its long run in the playoffs of last year.

Stamkos, who is just 26, leads Tampa Bay with 36 goals including 8 game winners. He is tied for the lead on the team in total points with 64.

With both Stamkos and Stralman out, Tampa Bay will have a tough time remaining alive deep into the postseason so the two can return.

Some think Stamkos might have played his final game with the Lightning. His contract situation has followed the team all season with a long-term extension talked about but never coming to fruition yet.

On July 1, he will be an unrestricted free agent and then what.

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