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From the Branches: Stamkos's regular season ends due to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Steven Stamkos suffers a blood clot in his arm, out 1 - 3 months.

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

When Tampa Bay Lightning fans heard that Stamkos was out yesterday, they knew it was not a small issue. Stamkos has played every single preseason and regular season game since returning from his leg injury in the 2013-2014 season, and it takes a lot to remove him from the lineup.

After the match, Steve Yzerman announced that Stamkos was out for 1-3 months to recover from a blood clot found in his arm. The team is no stranger to this news this season -- rewinding to September, backup goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy suffered the same illness, but located in his collarbone.

The blood clot is a sports-related one (not the same kind as the one suffered by Pascal Dupuis), Thoracic Outlet Syndrome or Effort Thrombosis, formed due to repetitive motion of one body part. Vasilevskiy's was due to the motions of goaltending, and Stamkos, well. He's carried Tampa this season, and I'm not surprised there are repercussions.

Surgery is scheduled for tomorrow at Tampa General Hospital.

Three speculations are running rampant on twitter right now: First, will Jonathan Drouin be placed into Tampa's lineup? Second, is the losing shut-out that Tampa suffered against the Habs really going to be Stamkos's last game in a Lightning jersey? And third, with top-pair defenseman Anton Stralman also out, are the Bolts, in short, f***ed?

I drew up a speculated Tampa lineup, and if Drouin is recalled, it doesn't look too bad, but it might not advance them much beyond the first round.

Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov - Ondrej Palat
Jonathan Drouin - Vladislav Namestnikov - Jonathan Marchessault
Ryan Callahan - Valtteri Filppula - Alex Killorn
JT Brown - Brian Boyle - Cedric Paquette

Dear Stevie Y, please call up Drouin. And all of our best wishes to Stamkos for a complete recovery.

Leafs News

Maple Leafs officially get 2016 first-round pick from Penguins | Sportsnet
"The Penguins blanked the New York Islanders 5-0 Saturday afternoon and clinched a playoff berth in the process. This also means the Maple Leafs will receive Pittsburgh’s 2016 first-round pick."

‘I’d like them to get into the playoffs’: Toronto Maple Leafs’ Mike Babcock not keen on ending Detroit Red Wings’ streak | National Post
"I’d like them to get into the playoffs," Babcock said Friday. "Why? Because I was there a long time (10 years) and I appreciate the people there. That doesn’t have any bearing on (Saturday). We’re playing hockey and trying to improve our group all the time."

Springtime success for Toronto Maple Leafs prospects in AHL | Hockey's Future
"The high-flying Marlies have a stranglehold on the league’s top spot and will get some of their best players back in time for the Calder Cup playoffs. Although many of the team’s top prospects are showcasing their talents with Mike Babcock right now, there’s still a full cupboard of talent suiting up in the minors."

Assessing Rielly’s play after the Phaneuf trade | Shanaplan Debate
"When the former captain, Dion Phaneuf, was traded to the Ottawa Senators in early February, it signaled the end of an era for the Leafs. It also presented Rielly with a chance to show what he is capable of as the number one defensemen on the team, as besides Jake Gardiner, there really weren’t many players within the system that can handle the job effectively."

Should the Maple Leafs trade for Nail Yakupov? | Shanaplan Debate
"Yakupov is a player whom the Leafs should strongly consider acquiring in the offseason. The former 1st-overall draft pick is in a similar position to that of Tampa Bay’s Jonathan Drouin, he’s in desperate need of a fresh start."

Game Recap: Red Wings 3 at Maple Leafs 2 | The Seldo and You
"The game is pretty standard, as much as I can make out while I'm on the couch with children jumping on me through the first few minutes. Jake Gardiner takes 2 for tripped at 7:30 but the PK looks pretty good until the 9 minute mark when Brad Richards rips one from the faceoff dot and into the Leafs net."

Nazem Kadri fined $5,000 for diving | PPP

Other Hockey News

NHL emails show players need to watch their backs | New York Post
"In uniform, players know whom to trust: their teammates. But once in civilian clothes, they have no idea who will back them and who will stab them in the back. It seems a way of life for these guys that persists even in retirement."

NHL, Islanders dealing with major ice issues at Barclays Center | Sportsnet
Pls fix before playoffs thanks.

How the NHL got it wrong with the Duncan Keith suspension | CBS Sports
"Let's start with this: The six-game suspension that the NHL handed Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith on Friday is a significant one. It is also not anywhere near enough because it could have, and should have, been significantly harsher."

Report: Mexico City eyes NHL exhibition games | Sports Illustrated
If you're smart, NHL, it'll involve the Florida Panthers, who already have Al Montoya and Spanish-language play by play guys.

Lindy Ruff joins NHL's exclusive 700-win club | Sporting News
This guy's mustache honestly reminds me of Ted Turner's.

Will the glitzy new T-Mobile Arena bring an NHL team to Vegas? | Fox Sports
Bring it, Expansion Plan Puppets is ready.

Sad Lightning news is sad | Raw Charge

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