In what turned out to be a dark day in the NHL injury department, three teams spent Wednesday assessing damage done to their leading scorers. And it wasn't pretty.
Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos, New Jersey's Taylor Hall and Calgary's Johnny Gaudreau all are headed for extended absences, their teams revealed Wednesday afternoon, in the aftermath of Tuesday's slate of games.
Most notably, Stamkos, tied for third in the NHL with 20 points, is "out indefinitely" with a torn meniscus in his right knee.
Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman broke the news to reporters Wednesday afternoon after Stamkos was sent back to Tampa from the team's road trip for further evaluation. He suffered the injury fighting for the puck along the boards in a win over Detroit on Tuesday night, minutes after scoring his ninth goal of the season.
Though Stamkos was playing arguably the best hockey of anyone the NHL to start the season, the Lightning learned to adapt without him during last year's playoffs and have plenty of depth and scoring to make up for the lost production.
The same can't be said about the others.
Hall, also dealing with a torn meniscus but in his left knee, underwent surgery Wednesday morning and is expected to miss three to four weeks, the Devils announced. The 25-year-old winger was a surprise scratch early Tuesday after he was a full-go in Monday's practice, and the Devils didn't elaborate on when or how he suffered the injury.
Acquired in an offseason blockbuster to inject life into New Jersey's stagnant offense, Hall produced as advertised, leading the Devils with 12 points in 14 games. He has an extensive history with injuries, and played all 82 games in a season for the first time in 2015-16.
Gaudreau is expected to be sidelined at least a month after undergoing surgery Wednesday to repair a fracture on his left hand, the Flames announced. He was injured on a slash during Tuesday's win over Minnesota.
"It's his finger so it can be four (weeks), it can be six, you don't know," Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said. "For me, I'm just preparing for the worst-case scenario and that's how it goes. But we won't know anything on this injury until we hear from the doctors. It could be less, it could be more."
Gaudreau's extended absence is already worst-case scenario for Calgary, which is off to a disappointing 6-10-1 start. He signed a six-year, $40.5 million extension in the offseason, and was leading the team with 11 points through its slow start.