Ryan Callahan out “indefinitely” for Tampa Bay Lightning after injury in Arizona

After getting tangled with Oliver Ekman-Larsson in the third period of Thursday’s hockey game against the Coyotes, Callahan sustained an upper-body injury.

According to an update from the Tampa Bay Lightning, Ryan Callahan is out indefinitely after sustaining an upper-body injury in Thursday’s match against the Arizona Coyotes. GM Steve Yzerman said that his injury will be reevaluated in three to four weeks.

In 29 games played with the team so far this season, Callahan has earned six points on a hard-working fourth line with Cedric Paquette and Chris Kunitz. His points total doesn’t reflect all of his effort on the ice. We reviewed the effectiveness of his line in the latest ten-game stats report, writing that, “Chris Kunitz, Ryan Callahan, and Cedric Paquette are a more than competent fourth line. If they continue to drive play like this, opposing teams will have to deal with four legitimate forward lines.”

Well crap.

The injury took place in the third period of the December 14 game against the Arizona Coyotes when Callahan became tangled up with Coyotes defender Oliver Ekman-Larsson, ricocheting off of the boards at an odd angle. In the game recap, Alan described the moment thus:

The game got a little ugly as the third period progressed. Brayden Point (yes, Brayden Point) fought Brad Richardson after they fell along the boards and Richardson kicked Point’s stick away from him. Shortly thereafter, Ryan Callahan and Oliver Ekman-Larsson fell into the end boards chasing a puck. Both players appeared to be injured on the play. Ekman-Larsson returned to the game but Callahan did not.

The Lightning forward appeared to suffer an arm injury of some sort and was in obvious pain as he headed directly to the locker room after the play. Callahan has been playing well lately and his line with Chris Kunitz and Cedric Paquette has been one of the best for the Lightning lately. Given his injury history over the last two seasons, another significant injury would be a huge disappointment.

If Callahan is ruled out for the rest of the regular season, it will give Yzerman the opportunity to use LTIR cap relief to add a player at the trade deadline.

We’ll continue to follow this story, but I guess we can let the trade-deadline speculation begin...