Lightning's Stamkos may miss 4-6 months after knee surgery

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(The Sports Xchange) - Tampa Bay Lighting captain Steven Stamkos will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus, according to multiple reports.

TSN Canada's Bob McKenzie reported Stamkos traveled to Vail, Colo. to have the procedure performed. The report was also confirmed by the Tampa Bay Times.

There is not an official timetable for his return but the procedure includes a rehab period of four to six months, meaning Stamkos will likely return in mid-March at the earliest.

Stamkos was injured during a collision with Detroit's Gustav Nyquist in Tuesday's 4-3 win. He scored his ninth goal of the season before leaving and Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman said Wednesday that Stamkos would be sidelined "indefinitely".

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Jason Spezza — Dallas Stars

Cap Hit: $7.5 Million

Stars center Jason Spezza, who has a net worth of $43 million, is entering the second year of a four-year, $30 million contract that pays him an average annual salary of $7.5 million. Spezza, who did not receive a signing bonus, will become a free agent in 2019. He's earned $64.98 million since 2002.

Ryan O'Reilly — Buffalo Sabres

Cap Hit: $7.5 Million

Ryan O'Reilly signed a seven-year, $52.5 million contract that includes an overall $45.5 million signing bonus and an average annual salary of $7.5 million. The center, who becomes a free agent in 2023, has earned $24.64 million since he entered the league in 2009.

Ryan Suter — Minnesota Wild

Cap Hit: $7.54 Million

Star defenseman Ryan Suter is entering the fifth year of a 13-year, $98 million contract that includes an overall signing bonus of $25 million. He will be paid an average annual salary of $7.54 million until his contract is up and he becomes a free agent in 2025. He has earned $60.83 million since 2005.

Zach Parise — Minnesota Wild

Cap Hit: $7.54 Million

Like his teammate Ryan Suter, Zach Parise is just starting the fifth year of a 13-year, $98 million contract that includes an overall signing bonus of $25 million. The left wing will earn an average annual salary of $7.54 million until he becomes a free agent in 2025. He has earned a reported $63.08 million since 2005.

Dustin Byfuglien — Winnipeg Jets

Cap Hit: $7.6 Million

Defenseman Dustin Byfuglien is starting a five-year, $38 million contract that pays him an average annual salary of $7.6 million. Byfuglien becomes a free agent in 2021. He has earned $35.06 million since 2005.

Rick Nash — New York Rangers

Cap Hit: $7.8 Million

Rick Nash is under an eight-year, $62.4 million contract that pays him an average of $7.8 million a year until he becomes a free agent in 2018. The left wing received no signing bonus. He has earned a combined $72.42 million since he was drafted in 2002. He has a net worth of $20 million.

Shea Weber — Montreal Canadiens

Cap Hit: $7.86 Million

Montreal defenseman Shea Weber signed a 14-year contract that pays him $110 million with an overall $68 million signing bonus. He will earn an average annual salary of $7.86 million until his contract expires in 2026. Weber, whose net worth is estimated at $24 million, has earned a combined $90.83 million since 2005. This summer, Weber was traded to the Canadiens from the Predators.

Ryan Getzlaf — Anaheim Ducks

Cap Hit: $8.25 Million

Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf signed an eight-year, $66 million contract that comes with an overall $5 million signing bonus and pays him an average of $8.25 million per year until he becomes a free agent in 2021. Dating back to 2005, his career earnings total $50.97 million. His net worth is estimated at $35 million.

Jakub Voracek — Philadelphia Flyers

Cap Hit: $8.25 Million

Philadelphia right winger Jakub Voracek earned an eight-year, $66 million contract extension that includes an overall $21.5 million signing bonus. He'll earn an average annual salary of $8.25 million until he becomes a free agent in 2024. He has earned a total of $20.11 million since entering the league in 2007.

Claude Giroux — Philadelphia Flyers

Cap Hit: $8.28 Million

Flyers center Claude Giroux is in the third year of an eight-year contract that pays him a total of $66.2 million, including an overall signing bonus of $9 million. He will earn an average annual salary of $8.28 million until he becomes a free agent in 2022. He has an estimated net worth of $16 million and has earned $31.35 million since 2007.

Henrik Lundqvist — New York Rangers

Cap Hit: $8.5 Million

Legendary Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist is entering the third year of a seven-year, $59.5 million contract, which includes an overall signing bonus of $8 million. He will earn an average annual salary of $8.5 million a year until he becomes a free agent in 2021. He has earned $67.4 million since 2005 and has an estimated net worth of $35 million.

Steven Stamkos — Tampa Bay Lightning

Cap Hit: $8.5 Million

Lightning center Steven Stamkos is entering the first year of an eight-year, $68 million contract that pays him an average annual salary of $8.5 million. Stamkos, who becomes a free agent in 2024, has a net worth of $14 million — a small estimate considering, since he was drafted in 2008, he has earned a combined $58.18 million.

Corey Perry — Anaheim Ducks

Cap Hit: $8.63 Million

Ducks right winger Corey Perry is in the fourth year of an eight-year, $69 million contract that includes an overall $20 million signing bonus. He will earn an average annual salary of $8.63 million until he becomes a free agent in 2021. Perry, who has an estimated net worth of $20 million, has earned $51.76 million since 2005.

Sidney Crosby — Pittsburgh Penguins

Cap Hit: $8.7 Million

Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby has a 12-year, $104.4 million contract that pays him an average of $8.7 million annually until he becomes a free agent in 2025. The Penguins center has a net worth of $55 million and has earned $87.5 million since he was drafted in 2005.

P.K. Subban — Nashville Predators

Cap Hit: $9 Million

Predators defenseman P.K. Subban is entering the third year of an eight-year, $72 million contract he originally signed with the Montreal Canadiens. When including his overall $25.5 million signing bonus, he earns an average annual salary of $9 million until he becomes a free agent in 2022. He has a net worth of $25 million and has earned $26.84 million since 2009.

Evgeni Malkin — Pittsburgh Penguins

Cap Hit: $9.5 Million

Rounding out the five highest-paid athletes on this list is center Evgeni Malkin. He enters the third year of an eight-year, $76 million contract. He'll earn an average annual salary of $9.5 million until he becomes a free agent in 2022, plus a $5 million signing bonus in the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Malkin, who has been paid $70.27 million since 2005, has a net worth of $25 million.

Alex Ovechkin — Washington Capitals

Cap Hit: $9.54 million

Left wing Alex Ovechkin is in the ninth year of a massive 13-year, $124 million contract that pays him an average annual salary of $9.54 million until he becomes a free agent in 2021. Ovechkin, who has a net worth of $60 million, has earned $73.22 million since 2005.

Anze Kopitar — Los Angeles Kings

Cap Hit: $10 Million

Kings center Anze Kopitar is in the second year of an eight-year, $80 million contract that includes an overall signing bonus of $18 million. That contract pays him an average salary of $10 million per year. Estimates of Kopitar's net worth are low, at $18 million. He has earned $49.25 million since he was drafted in 2005.

Patrick Kane — Chicago Blackhawks

Cap Hit: $10.5 Million

Right winger Patrick Kane earns an average of $10.5 million a year as part of an eight-year, $84 million contract that began in 2015 and includes an overall $44 million signing bonus. Kane has earned $45.44 million since joining the league in 2007. He becomes a free agent in 2023.

Jonathan Toews — Chicago Blackhawks

Cap Hit: $10.5 Million

Topping our list is Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews. He enters the second year of an eight-year, $84 million contract that includes an overall $44 million signing bonus. He earns an average annual salary of $10.5 million until he becomes a free agent in 2023.

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In the first year of an eight-year deal agreed upon shortly before free agency on July 1, Stamkos has 20 points in 17 games.

The 26-year-old was Tampa Bay's top pick in 2009 and has 321 goals in 329 regular-season games.

Stamkos has also been sidelined with a few serious injuries in recent seasons.

He missed 55 games in the 2013-14 season with a broken leg. Last year he dealt with a blood-clotting issue that kept him out of the postseason until Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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