Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev suffered a gruesome left leg injury and had to be stretchered off the ice during Wednesday’s game against the New York Rangers.
The injury occurred midway through the second period when Sergachev got tangled up with Rangers forward Alexis Lafrenière after Lafrenière attempted a reverse hit on the approaching Lightning player. As Sergachev fell backwards, his left skate appeared to get caught in the ice, twisting his knee at an extremely unnatural angle.
Here is the Sergachev injury video in full. We don’t recommend watching if you are squeamish.
Sergachev immediately clutched his left leg in obvious agony while team trainers rushed onto the ice. After attempting to stabilize the injury, they quickly called for a stretcher to transport the 25-year-old Russian defenseman off the ice.
The entire Lightning bench cleared to be by Sergachev’s side as he was wheeled across the ice, with many players taking a knee in a show of support. Sergachev could be seen covering his face with a towel, clearly emotional from the traumatic injury. As he disappeared down the tunnel, he did give the Madison Square Garden crowd a thumbs up gesture.
The Lightning later confirmed Sergachev suffered a lower-body injury and would not return to the game. There has been no further update yet on the exact nature or severity of the injury.
Mikhail Sergachev has sustained a lower-body injury and will not return.
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) February 8, 2024
Ironically, Sergachev was just returning to action after missing the previous 17 games with a leg injury sustained in December. He had seemed eager to rejoin his teammates after the long absence, with Lightning coach Jon Cooper stressing his importance to the team prior to the game.
Unfortunately, Sergachev’s night lasted just 27 minutes before that excitement turned to anguish. The scene of him being wheeled off the ice left the entire building stunned in silence.
While the Lightning will be holding out hope for the best, the ugly nature of the injury makes it seem unlikely Sergachev will return to action anytime soon. It serves as yet another blow to the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions in what has already been an up and down season.
The team and its fans now face an anxious wait for a full diagnosis and timetable for their top young defenseman.