The Florida Panthers have announced that forward Kris Versteeg will miss the remainder of the year thank to season-ending knee surgery. George Richards of the Miami Herlald was the first to break the news via Twitter. The injury occurred during Tuesday’s game that saw the Panthers drop a 3-2 decision to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Panthers are floundering near the Eastern Conference basement this season and Versteeg was set to become a valuable trade chip for the club in hopes of acquiring some youth in return. That plan is now out the window and is the second player this month that the cats have had fall by the way side to injury.
Stephen Weiss was the other player the Panthers were said to be prepared to move by April 3rd but a season-ending injury that resulted in surgery on his knee has taken Weiss off the block.
The Panther are now forced to try and rebuild their roster without their top two assets and while a deal prior to free agency this summer is still possible, players like Weiss and Versteeg would have been popular for those playoff bound clubs. Something that often results in teams willing to overpay for their services.
On the season Versteeg, like Weiss had been strugggling, collecting just 2 goals and 2 assists in 10 games since returning from a previous injury.
Another tough break for the Florida Panthers who will have to get creative if they want to rebound quickly and re-assemble a team that is competitive for next season.