Injured Ohlund will miss season opener
The 33-year-old had minor surgery on the same knee early in the summer, but said the latest issue is not related to the procedure. He is listed as out indefinitely, but after taking a week of rest will try to slowly work his way back. He hopes to miss no more than two weeks.
"Obviously, I've been struggling with it the last little while, so I have no choice but to take a little time off and hopefully that will be enough," Ohlund said.
The swelling began after the start of training camp and forced him to miss practice time last week. Ohlund appeared in four preseason games, scoring one goal.
Ohlund, who had an MRI performed on Sunday that revealed the swelling, is expected to be placed on injured reserve before the team's official roster is submitted to the league prior to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, leaving Tampa Bay with eight healthy defensemen remaining with the team - Victor Hedman, Mike Lundin, Brett Clark, Pavel Kubina, Mathieu Roy, Matt Smaby, Randy Jones and Mike Vernace.
The loss of Ohlund adds to a list that already includes others questionable for Saturday's opener - RW Teddy Purcell (charley horse), C Dominic Moore (groin) and Jones, who has been out with a fracture in his right thumb. In addition, G Cedrik Desjardins missed practice with an abdominal/groin strain.
"You're going to get hit with injuries at some point of the season," Lighting general manager Steve Yzerman said. "There's nothing you can do about it except react accordingly and try to handle each situation the best way you can. It's a part of the game."
There was some good news on the injury front, however, after Jones practiced on Monday for the first time since fracturing the thumb on Sept. 23 at Edmonton. After fully participating in the practice, Jones sees no reason he won't be ready to play in Saturday's opener.
"It felt pretty good," Jones said. "I was handling the puck a lot more, shooting more, doing some battle drills and stuff, so for the most part I was very pleased."
Also, Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier sat out practice Monday with a contusion on his left foot caused when he took a puck off the foot during Saturday's preseason finale against Florida. Lecavalier, who scored three preseason goals, wanted to practice but was held out as a precaution, Lightning coach Guy Boucher said.
D Mike Lundin and F Chris Durno missed practice on Monday for personal reasons. They were with their wives awaiting the births of children.
Perrin still around
Veteran C Eric Perrin, who remains in training camp on a professional tryout agreement, said he still had not heard any word from his agent as of Monday in regards to contract discussions. Perrin would have to be signed to a deal before he could be added to the official roster. A message left for Perrin's agent was not immediately returned.
"I keep saying that in my case, no news is good news," he said. "I just got up today and got ready for practice as usual, and I'm still here."
Perrin appeared in four of the six preseason games, picking up a pair of assists with six shots on goal playing primarily third- and fourth-line duties.
"I feel like I've left it all out there, but at the same time I'm still progressing," Perrin said. "It's pretty stressful (waiting), but you can't think about that. While I'm (at the rink) it's all business, the stress goes away and I'm all focused and do my thing."
Yzerman said they still are deciding on whether Perris is a fit on the team.
Nuts and Bolts
The annual Tampa Chamber of Commerce luncheon with the team and staff will be held today in the lower bowl of the St. Pete Times Forum from 12:30-2:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 per person and includes a ticket to Saturday's season opener. Call Chris Duffy at (813) 301-6812 to purchase. ? Boucher said he won't reveal who will receive the start in goal opening night until Friday at the earliest. ? RW Marty St. Louis tied for the league lead in the preseason with seven assists, while C Steven Stamkos tied for seventh with four goals.
Photo: Mattias Ohlund
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