There have been several injury updates throughout the league today as training camps get underway and one of them came from Tampa Bay. GM Julien BriseBois told reporters, including Joe Smith of The Athletic that defenseman Cal Foote recently underwent surgery to repair a torn tendon in his finger. He’s expected to miss all of training camp plus the first two to four weeks of the season as a result.
The 22-year-old spent most of last season with the Lightning, playing in 35 games during the regular season, but he didn’t suit up in the playoffs. The 14th pick in 2017, Foote was expected to push for a spot on the third pairing in camp, and now that he’s waiver-eligible, his days in the minors were likely over. Instead, he’ll be on the outside looking in once the regular season gets underway next month.
The timetable for a return is noteworthy here. Tampa Bay is projected to have a roster that’s right up against the upper limit even with Brent Seabrook’s eventual transfer back to LTIR, and it’s one that will be below the maximum size of 23. If Foote is expected to return within the first two weeks of the season, he won’t miss enough time to be eligible for LTIR; players need to be out for three weeks or 10 games to qualify. If he’s projected to be out that long, the Lightning will be able to place Foote on there and bring up a replacement who carries roughly the same $850K AAV that he does.
While there were some injuries from the playoffs for Tampa Bay, Foote is the only Lightning player expected to miss the start of the season. In a pair of other tweets, Smith notes that defenseman Victor Hedman has fully recovered from his meniscus surgery, while winger Alex Killorn is still rehabbing from his broken fibula but is expected to be ready for opening night.