The Tampa Bay Lightning will be without goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy for 2-3 months after he underwent surgery to remove a blood clot near his left collarbone and needed treatment for a type of vascular thoracic outlet syndrome.
According to Vascular Web, thoracic outlet syndrome is caused due to “pressure against the nerves or blood vessels in the thoracic outlet area,” which is by the collarbone.
Vasilevskiy was thrust into the spotlight during June’s Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks when he replaced Ben Bishop during Game 2 and started Game 4. The 21-year old Russian played 16 regular season games last year with the Lightning, splitting his time with their AHL affiliate in Syracuse.
The Lightning say that Vasilevskiy will be back on the ice within 2-3 months.
Vasilevskiy joins Kimmo Timonen, Pascal Dupuis and Tomas Fleischmann among the NHLers who have dealt with blood clots over the last several years. Steve Whyno of the Canadian Press had a great story about more players being diagnosed recently than ever before.
This now puts Lightning GM Steve Yzerman in an interesting spot. Does he allow Kristers Gudlevskis, Adam Wilcox or Allen York to assume the backup role while Vasilevskiy is out or should the likes of Jonas Gustavsson or Ray Emery keep their phones on? A training camp PTO for a veteran netminder wouldn't be a surprise.
Yzerman did say on a conference call Friday morning that he’s going to take a “wait and see” approach to the backup situation and will let the competition play out during training camp before deciding on what he’ll do.
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