Ohlund’s injury status has Tampa Bay in a bind

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Lightning defenseman Mattias Ohlund hasn’t played since the end of the 2010-2011 season. A terrible knee injury has put his career in doubt and the team has him under contract until 2015-2016.

Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times says Ohlund’s inability to play is going to wind up costing the team a lot of money one way or another. Ohlund, meanwhile, says there’s not much more he can do to get healthier.

“From a surgery standpoint, there is nothing more that I can do,” he said. “Everybody has been absolutely wonderful, management, coaches and everybody with the Lightning. As for how it’s going to play out, I’m not completely sure.”

With three more years left on his deal, the Lightning would normally likely use a compliance buyout on Ohlund. His injury status makes that impossible to do as injured players cannot be bought out.

While the team can get cap relief, if needed, by putting him on long-term injured reserve they’ll still have to pay up the final $6.75 million he’s owed. Ohlund could also retire, but it’s highly unlikely he’d be eager to give up the money to do it. Somehow GM Steve Yzerman is going to have to make his $3.6 million cap hit not be an issue.