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Tarasenko Trade Fallout: Florida Panthers Waive Will Lockwood

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Will Lockwood, pictured here against the Detroit Red Wings on Nov. 2, was placed on waivers Wednesday to make room for newly acquired Vladimir Tarasenko. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

The Florida Panthers made a corresponding roster move Wednesday after acquiring Vladimir Tarasenko before Friday’s NHL Trade Deadline by placing Will Lockwood on waivers.

If Lockwood clears by 2 p.m. tomorrow, he will be assigned to Florida’s AHL team in Charlotte — at least temporarily.

Following the Deadline, teams can go over the 23-man roster limit as long as they stay under the salary cap.

Florida currently is about $3 million under the cap which gives them space to make another move, or add players to the active roster at 3:01 p.m. on Friday.

Tarasenko is expected to join the Panthers in time for Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers.

After a strong training camp, Lockwood initially started his season in Charlotte after being one of Florida’s final cuts.

When the Panthers decided to send fellow Michigan alum Mackie Samoskevich to Charlotte to get expanded playing time after three games, Florida called up Lockwood.

Lockwood ended up playing in seven games before being sent back on Nov. 13. 

When Anton Lundell and Jonah Gadjovich got sick, Florida recalled Lockwood and he has stuck since. 

Lockwood had three goals and seven points in 14 games with the Checkers.

But, he has not played much with the Panthers since being concussed in a fight with Minnesota Wild forward Brandon Duhaime.

Lockwood had hit goalie Marc-Andre Fleury which cost him a three-game suspension and led to the fight with Duhaime.

He has played just four games since sustaining that concussion and has been a healthy scratch since Jonah Gadjovich returned from a two-game absence.

“They have specific things they want me to do and that suits my game really well,’’ Lockwood said in December. “It is going out there, skating hard, going after pucks and using my feet. It is nothing but hard work. My focus is being in the game completely, constantly being dialed in no matter how much time you get on the ice. I have to keep the pace up.’’

The Panthers signed Lockwood to a two-year contract over the summer after he spent the entirety of his pro career with Vancouver. 

A third-round pick in 2016, Lockwood spent four seasons at Michigan and was captain of the Wolverines as a senior in 2019-20.

ON DECK

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS @ FLORIDA PANTHERS

  • When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • 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, NHL app
  • Season Series — At Florida: Flyers 2, Panthers 1 (Feb 6); Thursday. At Philadelphia: March 24.  
  • Last Season: Philadelphia won 2-1
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Philadelphia leads 57-37-6, 7 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Saturday vs. Calgary, 4 p.m.

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