Defensemen Brian Lee suffered torn ACL during AHL playoffs, could miss NHL training camp

USA TODAY Sports

Lee, who was displaced by prospect Radko Gudas on the Tampa Bay Lightning roster in 2013, has a more difficult task if he wishes to land place on Tampa Bay's 2013-2014 roster.

With a 3-2 loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins in game six of the Calder Cup Finals, the Syracuse Crunch's 2012-2013 season came to an end Tuesday night, but the cloudy and rather ambiguous descriptions of player injuries can now be cleared up.

The most significant injury news that came from the team on Wednesday is regarding defenseman Brian Lee. Lee suffered what was being called an undisclosed injury in game four of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Springfield on May 17.

Wednesday, the Crunch announced that Lee sustained a torn ACL.

According to Syracuse.com. Tampa Bay assistant general manager Julien BriseBois said Lee has already had surgery. Despite the surgery though, Lee will most likely miss the duration of training camp and his injury could impact his appearance in the preseason as well.

The extent of this injury would be bad news for any player but is especially difficult for a player like Lee; he will be fighting for a spot on Tampa Bay's roster next season and that won't be an easy task after the season he has had both with the Lightning and Syracuse.

Lee went scoreless in the 22 games he played with Tampa Bay, while registering an embarrassing minus-13 and a perchance for poorly timed penaltiies. Lee was assigned to Syracuse of the AHL on March 26. He had a one assist in the 11 games of the regular season he played with the Crunch and went scoreless in seven playoff contests.

Not only are Lee's stats going to hurt his chances to earn a roster spot with the Bolts, he is coming off a serious injury which is also another strike against him. Missing most of training camp and possibly part of the preseason doesn't bode well for player who needs to prove himself. Lee could have used that time to get back into the swing of things..but the torn ACL will prevent him from doing any of that.

Despite Lee's injury, Brisebois told Syracuse.com reporter Lindsay Kramer he has confidence he will see Lee in a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey next season, although Brisebois made this statement before he knew if Lee would have to undergo surgery.

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