Mar 14, 2013, 12:38 PM EST
Just when it seemed things couldn’t get any worse for the Florida Panthers, they got worse.
Versteeg, 26, played a key role in snapping Florida’s lengthy playoff drought a season ago, notching 23G-31A-54PTS in 71 games and finishing third on the team in scoring.
This season, though, had been largely frustrating.
Versteeg’s only played in 10 of Florida’s 27 games after dealing with both groin and chest injuries. On Tuesday — just his third game back from the chest ailment — he was hit by Tampa Bay’s Radko Gudas and forced to leave the contest with the knee injury that would ultimately end his season.
It was just the latest for a Florida team that’s had health issues all season long.
Stephen Weiss, the longest-tenured player on the roster, was lost for the year with a wrist injury. Goalie Jose Theodore is unlikely to return after tearing his groin while Ed Jovanovski, Dmitry Kulikov, Scottie Upshall and Mike Weaver are all currently on injured reserve.
As a result, the Panthers have been forced to dig deep into the organizational depth chart for bodies — unearthing the likes of Nolan Yonkman (a 31-year-old journeyman that’s played six games) and Jon Rheault (a 26-year-old rookie).
The Vertseeg and Weiss injuries also hurt off the ice.
Both were rumored to be potential trade assets at the deadline, given Florida is all but out of the playoff picture. Weiss is an impending UFA and Versteeg has three seasons remaining on his four-year, $17.6 million deal.
Nov 27, 2014, 12:29 PM EST
Played in 14 games over parts of the last three seasons.
Nov 27, 2014, 12:17 PM EST
Following Tuesday’s “mind-numbing” change in Dallas.
Nov 27, 2014, 12:02 PM EST
Big boost for Nashville, who hosts Edmonton tonight.
Nov 27, 2014, 11:44 AM EST
That’s the feeling, at least.
Nov 27, 2014, 11:18 AM EST
Florida’s No. 1 left Wednesday’s game early.
Nov 27, 2014, 11:10 AM EST
Nov 27, 2014, 11:10 AM EST
Center had a career-high 18 goals and 39 points last year.
Nov 27, 2014, 10:59 AM EST
Not listed: glorious gluttony.
Nov 27, 2014, 9:58 AM EST
“It’s pretty easy to see things slipping away,” Steve Mason said.
Nov 27, 2014, 9:26 AM EST
The hit generated a five-minute major and game misconduct.
Nov 27, 2014, 8:18 AM EST
Turkey Day’s assortment of links.
Nov 27, 2014, 1:45 AM EST
Callahan and Stamkos lead the way in win over Rangers.
Nov 27, 2014, 12:40 AM EST
Avs fall 3-2 to the Blackhawks.
Nov 26, 2014, 11:55 PM EST
Returned after missing four games due to injury.
Nov 26, 2014, 11:05 PM EST
The Pittsburgh captain reaches point No. 800 in the win.
Nov 26, 2014, 10:20 PM EST
Scores his seventh of the season.
Nov 26, 2014, 9:45 PM EST
Also touches on Martin St. Louis’ return to Tampa Bay.
Nov 26, 2014, 9:08 PM EST
Appeared to hurt his left shoulder. Team calling it an upper body injury.
Nov 26, 2014, 8:42 PM EST
The Winnipeg forward was tossed from the game.
Nov 26, 2014, 8:35 PM EST
Has the game’s opening goal tonight.
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