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Sabres announce Tage Thompson undergoes season-ending shoulder surgery

After one game and just under seven minutes of ice time in the NHL, Tage Thompson's season is over.

The Buffalo Sabres winger, who has been out since a Nov. 17 loss in Chicago, had season-ending surgery on his right shoulder Tuesday. The team made the announcement a few hours before faceoff against the Vegas Golden Knights in KeyBank Center.

Thompson, 22, was injured in the final two minutes of the game against the Blackhawks when he was checked into the corner glass by Chicago defenseman Olli Maatta. He left the ice immediately with his arm limp and went to the dressing room. He played 11 shifts in the 4-1 loss, totaling 6:59 of ice time.

The Sabres tried rest and rehab for several weeks hoping to avoid surgery, but the decision was finally made to have the 6-foot-6 Thompson undergo the procedure so he would be ready for training camp in the fall. The team did not specify the nature of Thompson's injury and is listing his recovery time as five to six months.

It's unclear how much of a role Thompson would have had in the NHL this year, but his loss rates as a major blow to the Rochester Amerks. He had six goals and six assists in 16 games for the Amerks before his call-up and was considered their top goal-scoring threat.

“[The injury] is a disappointment, a disappointing thing for our entire organization just because of what we challenged Tage in the offseason with,” General Manager Jason Botterill said Tuesday night during a scheduled appearance on WGR Radio. “He went through with it. There were things for him to work on specifically in Rochester and I thought he did that.

"I thought he had a great start to the season in Rochester. He came up and obviously got the injury. It's just something we have to deal with. Tage has to deal with it and the good thing is he'll have the opportunity to have a strong summer and be ready to go next year.”

Acquired from St. Louis in the 2018 Ryan O'Reilly trade, Thompson struggled last year in his rookie season with the Sabres. He had just seven goals, 12 points and a minus-22 rating in 65 games before the club finally sent him to the AHL in March.

Thompson flourished in Rochester, netting six goals and three assists in eight games and then two more goals in the Amerks' three-game playoff sweep at the hands of Toronto. He was one of Buffalo's last cuts in training camp, with the team hoping to get him on a top line in the AHL rather than a bottom-6 role in the NHL.

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