REDlines: Injury Bug Bites Florida Panther Forward Sean Bergenheim
Last year the Florida Panthers were hit quite hard by injuries throughout the season. At one point there were seven (yes seven) forwards that were injured, affecting the Panthers lineup. The Panthers lost over 300 man games during the course of the regular season to a variety of ailments, and still managed to win the Southeast division. Depth was the key to last seasons playoff run.
Nothing new has changed this year, and even though we are in a lockout, the injuries still seem to have an affect the team. Kris Versteeg who suffered a lower body injury late in the season that forced the colorful forward to miss 11 games, wasn’t 100% for the playoffs. Versteeg still managed to score three goals in seven post season games for the Panthers. However had this campaign started on time, Versteeg still wouldn’t have been ready due to not being recovered from his off season surgery on his hip. He definitely would have been missed, since the timetable for his return was slated be as late as December.
Erik Gudbranson suffered an upper body injury during the summer, which prior to the lockout being official, severely damped the anticipation of the young defenceman’s second season with Florida. Big G is also expected to be out of action until sometime in December.
Obviously if a player is coming home from Europe the injury is serious enough that he won’t be healing quickly, or it could be one that requires complete rest for more than just a few days. Bergenheim who was playing for HIFK in Finland’s SM-liiga, played two games and scored once. The gritty forward had signed a short term deal (game to game) in order to be able to return to the states should the lockout be settled.
This is a chance that players take when facing the possibility of a long layoff due to the work stoppage. Rather than stay at home and train, some prefer to participate in real games in order to ready themselves for the NHL season. Whenever that will be.
Hopefully the injury to Bergenheim isn’t serious, and he can make a quick recovery, and get himself back in game shape as soon as possible.
Although there’s obviously no need to rush.
Thanks for reading. We welcome your comments and opinions.
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