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Florida Panthers Claim D Casey Fitzgerald Off Waivers

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Buffalo Sabres defenseman Casey Fitzgerald carries the puck during the second period of a game against the Panthers on April 3. Florida claimed him off waivers on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

The Florida Panthers added some defensive depth on Wednesday by claiming Casey Fitzgerald off waivers from the Buffalo Sabres.

Buffalo had placed the 25-year-old on waivers Tuesday to clear room for Henri Jokiharju.

Fitzgerald was a third-round pick of the Sabres in 2016 and played in 23 games with Buffalo this season.

He is also part of Florida hockey royalty: Casey’s father is Tom Fitzgerald, an original member of the Panthers who was with the team for their five seasons at Miami Arena before being traded to Colorado in 1998.

Tom Fitzgerald is currently the general manager of the New Jersey Devils.

The right-handed Fitzgerald played four seasons at Boston College and played his first pro season with AHL Rochester during the 2019-20 campaign.

He made his NHL debut with the Sabres last season where he ended up playing in 36 games — scoring six points off assists.

This season, Fitzgerald had three assists with the Sabres.

Fitzgerald had four goals and 12 points with Rochester last season.

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Tom Fitzgerald, father of new Panthers’ defenseman Casey, was part of Florida for its first five seasons of existence and is currently GM of the New Jersey Devils.

He ended his run with the Sabres by being a healthy scratch the past six games. Florida had already been carrying an extra defenseman with Matt Kiersted being scratched the past couple of games and is headed back to Charlotte to get back to playing games.

Buffalo placed Fitzgerald, who averaged 13:03 this season, on waivers in an attempt to get him back to Rochester.

The Panthers have had pretty good success of claiming defensemen off waivers over the past couple of years.
Florida got Gus Forsling from Carolina in 2021 and Josh Mahura from Anaheim this season.

PANTHERS ON DECK

FLORIDA PANTHERS AT VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS

  • When: Thursday, 10 p.m.
  • Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
  • Last season: Split 1-1
  • All-time regular season series: Vegas leads 5-2-1
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Saturday vs. Vancouver, 7 p.m.

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