The Florida Panthers will be without forward Anthony Duclair for at least the first few months of the season due to an injury sustained while doing offseason workouts.
Duclair, 26, needed surgery on his Achilles tendon and will be out a substantial amount of time.
The news was first reported by Pierre LeBrun of TSN with Sportsnet’s Eliotte Friedman confirming.
Saturday morning, the Panthers released a statement confirming the surgery and stating Duclair should be back midseason.
Wednesday afternoon, Duclair posted a picture of himself on his Instagram story with a walking boot on his left leg while riding on a knee walker.
”Gonna grind it out and come back stronger,’’ Duclair wrote.
Duclair had a career season with the Panthers last season, scoring 31 goals with 51 points playing on either the first or second line.
After starting the season playing on the fourth, he quickly got back up into the top-6 and had a memorable season.
It was also the first of Duclair’s three-year contract with the Panthers which has a cap hit of $3 million.
Florida, which is currently right up against the cap, will almost certainly put Duclair on LTIR and wipe that $3 million off.
Of course, that money is only off the salary cap for as long as Duclair does not return.
When he is deemed healthy and ready to play, the Panthers would lose that cap hit exclusion.
In 2016, Jonathan Huberdeau needed surgery to repair his Achilles’ tendon after he was hurt playing in an exhibition game at West Point.
Huberdeau was expected to miss three to four months; he was back in February.
The injuries are different in that Huberdeau was cut by a skate and it appears Duclair had a rupture of some sort.
“Off the ice, it’s going to be a little harder to be where I was,” Huberdeau said upon his return to action in 2017.
“Strength-wise, on the ice, I feel good. This is my first game, my season opener. I have to be careful because guys have been playing 50 games so they’re into their season and I’m just starting. I’ll keep it simple.”
Roberto Luongo played his last game with the Florida Panthers in 2019 and had his No. 1 retired in 2020.
On Monday, he became a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
— Matt Kiersted got a new contract from the Panthers on Monday and should compete for a spot on the team when camp opens in Sept.
— It looks like one of the Panthers’ offseason decisions was made for them as Maxim Mamin is reportedly returning to his home club in Moscow.
NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW & MORE
Nazim Kadri will be the first Muslim player to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup — and it is a big deal in Ontario for sure.
— The Colorado Avalanche will have its parade on Thursday in Denver.
— Here are some top trade targets to keep an eye on.
— Former Bruins center Marc Savard is not expected to join the team in any capacity as the Windsor Spitfires coach wants to be a head coach in the NHL.
— The Bruins will not have a preseason game against the rival Montreal Canadiens.
— Islanders prospect William Dufour is a finalist for the CHL David Branch Award.
— The Philadelphia Flyers are a team which can learn something from watching the Avalanche.