Tampa Bay Lightning forward Valtteri Filppula left Thursday’s game due to what has been revealed to be a non-displaced fractured ankle, according to the Tampa Tribune’s Erik Erlendsson.
The silver lining for the Lightning is that this occurred right before the Olympic break and his timetable suggests that he should be available in three weeks, so he might not end up missing many NHL games. This has to be a tough pill for Filppula to swallow though as he was just days away from representing Finland in the 2014 Winter Games.
The Finnish squad was already facing the strong possibility that Mikko Koivu won’t be available for the Olympics, so Filppula’s last minute injury has made a difficult situation worse.
Filppula was part of Finland’s bronze medal run in 2010 and contributed three goals in six games. Since then he’s emerged as a strong top-six forward and most recently has been a big part of the Lightning’s success during Steven Stamkos’ absence.
Filppula has 20 goals and 41 points in 56 contests in 2013-14.