Just got back from a rigorous Panthers practice at Saveology.com Iceplex and the good news is that forward Kris Versteeg will make his delayed season debut tomorrow night against the red-hot Lightning. Versteeg joked that he may need an oxygen mask on the bench after not playing a hockey game for nine months. He doesn't remember ever going that long without playing a game.
He will join Tomas Fleischmann and Tomas Kopecky on the top line as center Stephen Weiss gave it the old college try in a solitary pre-practice skate but clearly was disgusted by the end knowing that his injured groin (according to a source) isn't ready for action.
Center Marcel Goc skated with the team but was still wearing a non-contact jersey. Dineen agreed that he is very close to a return while Weiss isn't. GM Dale Tallon told the Sun Sentinel that a transaction report on the TSN website that said the suspensions were lifted on Goc, Sean Bergenheim and Erik Gudbranson was completely false. Gudbranson said to me, "That's news to me,'' when I told him about the TSN report. However, it's pretty much understood that as soon as Goc and Guddy are ready to play they will be reinstated. I'm feeling Goc for possibly Thursday against the Jets.
Versteeg set to make season debut; Weiss out
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | Jan 28