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The Florida Checkers: Shorthanded Panthers get AHL help



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Cole Schwindt gets ready to take his rookie lap before making his NHL debut with the Florida Panthers on Thursday night. // Photo courtesy @FlaPanthers

SUNRISE — Missing seven players due to the NHL’s Covid-19 protocols, the Florida Panthers had to call up a number of reinforcements from the AHL Charlotte Checkers before Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings.

Two problems: The Checkers were coming off back-to-back games and, due to salary cap and roster concerns, the Panthers were only able to ice 16 skaters instead of the usual 18.

Florida was forced to play with 11 forwards and five defensemen.

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When it was all said and done, Cole Schwindt, Grigori Denisenko, Matt Kiersted and Chase Priskie played three games in three nights — including Florida’s 4-1 loss to the Kings.

“I thought they brought a lot to the hockey game,” Florida interim coach Andrew Brunette said.

“I think they all played extremely well for us. I was really happy for them. It was a good opportunity. They stepped in and they played exceptionally. For us coaches and organizationally, it was great to see them play at that level.”

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