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Panthers captain Bryan McCabe expected to miss ‘several weeks’ after undergoing surgery for facial fractures

Jan 16, 2011, 3:50 PM EDT

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For many years, Bryan McCabe’s reputation was that of a scapegoat (or even a punchline) as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.* Yet McCabe has carved out a nice career for himself with the Florida Panthers, producing 39 and 43 point seasons while becoming the team’s captain.

The Panthers must deal with the loss of his offensive skill (21 points in 43 games) and leadership for several weeks, as coach Peter DeBoer told the Miami Herald that McCabe underwent surgery on multiple facial fractures. DeBoer said that their captain also was fighting through a broken finger.

McCabe suffered the injury during Saturday’s game against the New Jersey Devils. He underwent an X-ray during the first intermission before coming back out with a partial face shield. DeBoer didn’t provide a clear timetable for McCabe’s return other than that “several weeks” report.

* – As usual with players on that team, it often comes to one player taken far too much abuse as fans try to distract themselves from the fact that the entire team has problems (see: Lebda, Brett). McCabe logged more 28 minutes per game for the Leafs in the 2005-06 season, so clearly he was one of the team’s best options.

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