Lightning’s Steven Stamkos out indefinitely with torn meniscus

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (left) scored a goal before leaving Tuesday's game with a right leg injury.

Paul Sancya/AP

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos will be out indefinitely due to a meniscus tear, the team announced Wednesday.

"Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos suffered a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee during the team’s game against the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday night and will remain out of the lineup indefinitely," said Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman. "We are in the process of evaluating options for repair and rehabilitation and will release more information as it becomes available."

Stamkos, who last summer re-signed with the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2008 rather than testing free agency, was hurt during the opening period of Tuesday night’s 4-3 road win.

Stamkos scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season Tuesday and leads the NHL with 20 points in 17 games. He grabbed the back of his right knee and limped off the ice after colliding with Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist along the boards.

Stamkos, who helped Tampa Bay reach the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, missed all but one game of last season’s playoffs after undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot discovered near his collarbone. He also missed significant playing time three years ago, when he broke his right leg against Boston and was sidelined 45 games.

The 26-year-old cited loyalty, respect and the potential to win for years as major reasons for re-signing with the Lightning rather than testing free agency, where he likely would have commanded much more than the $68 million he’s scheduled to earn over the next eight seasons.