Callahan would be out for at least five months. Callahan has been suffering with the ailment since the end of the regular season and throughout the playoffs, which saw the Lightning reach the Eastern Conference Final. Callahan was unable to compete in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto due to an injury.
He had surgery on June 29 to repair a herniated disc in his neck. Dr. Michael Collins performed the operation at the Cleveland Clinic. "Ryan had a very successful procedure today to remove some of the material from around his nerve root that was causing him pain," said Dr. Collins. "He will begin physical therapy immediately after recovery from this operation and we expect him to make a full recovery."
The 30-year-old forward scored 15 goals during the 2014-15 season. He's one of the top power play producers in the NHL with 112 points (42 goals, 70 assists) in 402 games over eight seasons with the New York Rangers and Lightning.
Callahan helped the Lightning win the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014. He's expected to be ready for the start of the 2017-18 season.
Callahan's father, Steve, told The Tampa Bay Times' Kevin Baxter that doctors found a tumor on his son's spinal cord during the surgery. He added that it's not clear how the tumor formed or what caused it to grow.
He was never a Stanley Cup winner. Callahan served eight seasons with the Rangers, including three as captain, until being traded to Tampa Bay in the Marty St. Louis trade in 2014. Callahan shared his thoughts on Twitter. "I honestly can say that I left it everything on the ice and have no regrets."
He won a silver medal at the 2004 World Championships with Russia. The country was eliminated by Canada in the quarterfinals, but they did win two gold medals- one at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and another at the 2012 London Games - giving Callahan a total of three gold medals at international competitions.
Callahan was drafted second overall by the New York Rangers in the 2003 NHL Draft. He played four seasons with the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs before turning pro.
Currently, he plays center for the Tampa Bay Lightning. He is a veteran presence on the team's power play and serves as an alternate captain. Callahan is expected to be a key player for Tampa Bay this season as they attempt to defend their title.
Callahan served eight seasons with the Rangers, including three years as captain, until being traded to Tampa Bay in the Marty St. Louis trade in 2014. He played two more seasons with the Lightning before signing with the New York Islanders as an unrestricted free agent in 2016.
However, he did play a key role in bringing home the first Stanley Cup for the Rangers in 54 years. After serving as a leading scorer during the 2010 playoffs, Callahan was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the postseason when the Rangers defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in Game 6 of the Finals.
Callahan's career regular season totals include 394 points (197 goals, 197 assists) in 579 games with New York and Tampa Bay. He is also a four-time 50-point performer and a two-time 100-point player. The Ottawa native was born on March 10, 1984.
After playing three seasons at the University of Maine, where he was named a First Team All-American, Callahan turned pro in 2008. That same year, he made his NHL debut with the Rangers against the Philadelphia Flyers and scored his first goal on October 12, 2008 vs. the New Jersey Devils.
Rangers of New York
|Played for||New York Rangers Tampa Bay Lightning|
|National team||United States|
|NHL Draft||127th overall, 2004 New York Rangers|
How long will Sidney Crosby be sidelined? The Penguins captain had "muscle injury surgery" on Nov. 14 to correct his sports hernia, which will keep him out of the lineup for at least six weeks, the organization announced in a statement. He was expected to miss three to four months following surgery.
Crosby's absence will cause multiple problems for the Penguins, who are already struggling without him. Pittsburgh is 1-4 without its top player, including losing 3 straight games before defeating the New York Islanders 5-3 on Saturday night.
The reigning NHL MVP missed 26 games last season due to a concussion, and the Penguins didn't make it past the first round of the playoffs after he returned. This time around, they might not even make it to April since they're currently behind the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Atlantic Division with 19 games left to play.
Crosby is considered by many to be the best player in the world, and his loss will be difficult to overcome. Before he went down, the Penguins were enjoying a five-game winning streak and looked like their usual self - dominating opponents offensively and defensively. Now that he's out for the season, there's no telling how far they'll fall in the standings.
Crosby led the Penguins to their fourth Stanley Cup in 2009, and two more in 2016 and 2017.