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.
Dec 9, 2013, 4:25 PM EST
“We’re pretty frustrated,” said Ryan McDonagh.
Dec 9, 2013, 3:55 PM EST
Anaheim’s coming off two impressive wins over the ‘Hawks and Blues.
Dec 9, 2013, 3:17 PM EST
Tough times in the Chicago goal.
Dec 9, 2013, 2:45 PM EST
All the latest from the blue paint…
Dec 9, 2013, 2:44 PM EST
They’re in Anaheim to play the Ducks tonight.
Dec 9, 2013, 2:08 PM EST
Sounds like it could be.
Dec 9, 2013, 1:40 PM EST
And the players and coach seem to agree with the chart.
Dec 9, 2013, 1:37 PM EST
He’s been up, he’s been down.
Dec 9, 2013, 1:16 PM EST
The first punishment handed down from Saturday’s ugly Pittsburgh-Boston affair.
Dec 9, 2013, 12:47 PM EST
‘Canes play tonight in Vancouver and tomorrow in Edmonton.
Dec 9, 2013, 12:29 PM EST
Bit of a dream season for the 27-year-old hometown boy.
Dec 9, 2013, 12:29 PM EST
Free agent signing has been a disappointment this season.
Dec 9, 2013, 12:12 PM EST
“I guess I got him in the back of the leg.”
Dec 9, 2013, 11:49 AM EST
“Well that’s just super,” the Blue Jackets probably didn’t say.
Dec 9, 2013, 11:34 AM EST
It’s a mismatch on paper.
Dec 9, 2013, 11:23 AM EST
He led Philadelphia in scoring for a while.
Dec 9, 2013, 11:12 AM EST
Russian rookie is on fire at the moment.
Dec 9, 2013, 11:10 AM EST
Have won five of their last seven. Play tonight in Vancouver.
Dec 9, 2013, 10:54 AM EST
Hey, if you’re going to ask anybody…
Dec 9, 2013, 10:37 AM EST
Stemming from Saturday’s ugly incident vs. Boston.
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head 124
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller 95
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ 107
- Lecavalier out 3-4 weeks with non-displaced fracture in back 8
- Islanders players hold closed-door meeting after ninth straight loss 14
- Penguins’ Neal has phone hearing for knee on Bruins’ Marchand 89
- Shawn Thornton confirms hearing with NHL Department of Player Safety (Updated) 87
- Video: Penguins’ Neal knees Bruins’ Marchand 69
- Penguins announce Brooks Orpik ‘alert and conscious’ (Updated) 47
- Shawn Thornton: ‘People could probably criticize that I’m a little too honorable’ 78
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (180)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (126)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (124)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (109)
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller (96)