TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Julien BriseBois could not hide his emotions when he stepped to the microphone inside Amalie Arena on Tuesday morning. He stood there in front of a crowd of media members and he discussed the season, the staff, and the players.
“They are such a talented group,” said BriseBois, “but, most importantly, they have so much collective heart. It was outstanding and so inspiring to watch.”
The GM then shared some of the injuries the players fought through to win their second Stanley Cup in the past two seasons.
“Victor Hedman suffered a torn meniscus in a game on March 30,” BriseBois said. “So he has been playing through that ever since.”
Hedman only missed two games during the regular season and did not miss any games in the postseason. He is having his meniscus repaired on Tuesday and his estimated rehabilitation time is three to four weeks, BriseBois noted.
“Barclay Goodrow and Ryan McDonagh played in the playoffs with a broken hand,” stated BriseBois.
Pat Maroon first revealed McDonagh’s injury to WFLA on Monday during the team’s championship boat parade.
While Goodrow did miss the first five games of the postseason, McDonagh skated in every one of them.
“Alex Killorn suffered a broken fibula in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. I saw the X-ray. It was broken in two very distinct pieces all the way through,” said BriseBois. “He blocked that shot, broke his leg on a Monday. On a Thursday, in hopes of being able to come back and help us win the Stanley Cup, he had a rod inserted in his fibula. He was skating by Saturday.”
BriseBois paused here. He raised his eyebrows seemingly stressing his awe. He composed himself before he verbalized his thoughts.
“That’s how you win the Stanley Cup.”
He also shared details on the injury that plagued Nikita Kucherov. Kucherov fractured his rib when he was crosschecked in the series against the New York Islanders.
“He played with a flak jacket from that point on and also had a nerve block injection the day before every game from that point on,” said BriseBois, “so it makes his performance during these playoffs both before the injury and after the broken rib all the more impressive. He is a tough hockey player, he is an incredible hockey player, and all of us in Bolts nation are happy that he is our Kuch.”