Surgery Sidelines Lightning's Richer

President Bush gives his fifth State of the Union speech Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2006, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Behind Bush is Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and Vice President Dick Cheney, left.

Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Stephane Richer will be out of action for the next four weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery Monday morning to repair scar tissue in his right ankle.

Richer, who was placed on the injured reserve list Sunday night, has been afflicted with the injury since last season. He had surgery during the off-season, but it began bothering him again this season.

The 32-year-old Richer has one goal and one assist in four games this year, his first full season with the Lightning. Richer was acquired in a six-player deal with the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 15 and signed a three-year contract six weeks later.

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Richer played in a total of 40 games in 1997-98 for Montreal and Tampa Bay, collecting 14 goals and 16 assists with 41 penalty minutes.

A two-time 50-goal scorer, Richer has 381 goals and 343 assists in 870 games over 13-plus seasons with Montreal, New Jersey and the Lightning. He enjoyed his best season in 1989-90, when he recorded career highs of 51 goals, 40 assists and 91 points for the Canadiens.

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