Stamkos Update, Richardson Injury & More News

Yzerman Weighs in on Stamkos

With Steven Stamkos out approximately four months after undergoing surgery to repair a tear in his right lateral meniscus, there have been questions about whether Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman may make a trade to bring in another offensive forward.

Steve Yzerman
Steve Yzerman (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Yzerman, however, doesn’t intend to do anything like that right now and sees it as unrealistic, according to the Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith on Friday.

“At this time, it’s not realistic to think I can go out and acquire (someone),” GM Steve Yzerman said, according to Smith. “Even if I could acquire a player with a significant cap number, I’d have to be scrambling when Stammer came back. So let’s wait and see for time being.

“I’m certainly open to exploring anything. But at this time, let’s give some of the guys who  have been waiting for an increased role a chance.”

The Lightning played the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday, a 4-1 win on the road, in their first game since Stamkos went down with an injury against the Detroit Red Wings on Nov. 15.

Alex Killorn Tampa Bay Lightning
Alex Killorn (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Seven players were part of the scoring for the Lightning against the Sabres, including an assist from Jonathan Drouin in his return to the lineup for the first time since Nov. 1. Alex Killorn registered and a goal and assist, snapping an 11-game goal-scoring drought and rookie Brayden point had  a multi-point game.

The Lightning will be relying upon their depth in the absence of Stamkos, in much the same way they did to end last year’s regular season and the 2016 playoffs when he was lost to a blood clot injury in his right collarbone.

From a salary cap standpoint, the Lightning are also not in the position to make a move for another high-priced player. The team currently has just less under $730,000 in available cap space, according to, meaning if Stamkos is placed on long-term injured reserve (at an $8.5 million cap hit) the Lightning’s cap space would be less than $8 million until he returns.

Brayden Point (Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)
Brayden Point (Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

The Lightning currently expect Stamkos to be back sometime in mid-March, which would put the team in a tough spot if they make a trade before that time and are forced to come within salary cap compliance late in the season.

Yzerman appears to be ready to see how the team’s current roster is able to play for the time being.

“We’re significantly a better team with Stammer in the lineup than without,” Yzerman said. “But in the past we’ve been able to overcome injuries to various players and still remain competitive and reached the playoffs. We’ve been fortunate players have stepped in and given an increased role, regardless of who’s been out, and have done the job for us. We expect and hope that the guys who are in the lineup can handle the added workload.”

Coyotes’ Richardson Suffers Broken Leg injury

Phoenix Coyotes forward Brad Richardson suffered a broken tibia and fibula and was expected to undergo surgery on Friday morning, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

The injury occurred during the second period of the Coyotes’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday. Richardson collided with Canucks defenseman Nikita Tryamkin and immediately fell to the ice, throwing off his gloves and motioning for a trainer to come out onto the ice. Richardson was in clear pain and was taken off the ice on a stretcher, with his right leg stabilized on a pillow.

Richardson, 31, has skated in 16 games in 2016-17 and is the team’s third leading scorer with four goals and nine points. He scored the Coyotes’ first goal on Thursday, and was centering the third line between left winger Laurent Dauphin and right winger Shane Doan before he went down with the injury.

Brad Richardson
Brad Richardson (Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

The Coyotes have one win in their last six games and are 5-9-2 overall and in seventh place in the Pacific Division. They are currently scoring an average of 2.5 goals per game, 18th in the NHL, and have struggled defensively this season with a 29th ranked 3.4 goals against per game.

The team will look for scoring from some other places without Richardson the roster for the foreseeable future.

NWHL Cuts Player Salaries

The National Women’s Hockey League has been forced to cut player salaries because of a decline in attendance, league commissioner Dani Rylan announced on Friday, according to Jen Neale of Yahoo Sports.

It’s concerning news for a league that is one of just two professional women’s hockey leagues in North America. The other being the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, which began play in 2007 and does not pay its players.

Ashley Johnston, a defenseman with the New York Riveters in the NWHL, participated on the league’s conference call and spoke about the impact the salary cuts have on the league.

“We had no idea. When I first heard the news… probably gut-wrenching is the best way to describe it,” Johnston said, according to Mike Murphy of Blueshirt Banter. “We are all very, very invested in this league pretty [much] in every aspect of our lives. To hear that it’s something that had to happen- it’s a tough thing to hear. It’s not a good day.”

Odds and Ends

— The Ottawa Senators released an official statement on behalf of Craig Anderson and his wife, Nicholle, to provide some more details on Nicholle’s cancer diagnosis and the road ahead for her and the Anderson family. The statement expressed gratitude to the Senators organization and the world of hockey for their outpouring of support for the Anderson family as Nicholle begins her fight against nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

— Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos has reportedly said he is open to selling the team, even if it means relocation, according to report by 98.5 Sports in Montreal on Friday.  The 73-year-old has sought to sell the team in the past and the latest discussion comes after Karmanos reportedly reached a settlement in a lawsuit between he and his three sons.

— It appears that any discussions that took place between the Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres regarding a trade for forward Evander Kane have ended.

— The Carolina Hurricanes are actively shopping defenseman Ryan Murphy, according to a report by TSN’s Darren Dreger on Friday. Murphy, 23, was drafted by the Hurricanes 12th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and has played just four games and registered one assist in 2016-17.

— The Edmonton Oilers placed forward Anton Lander on waivers on Friday. Lander, 25, has skated in 16 games this season, but registered just three points and is averaging just over 10 minutes of ice time per contest.

— Wayne Gretzky will become the first NHL player to lend his voice to The Simpsons, a popular cartoon comedy show on Fox. The episode starring The Great One will air on Dec. 4 at 7:30 pm ET.