As players start to get healthy again, Mike Santorelli could find himself possibly missing major playing time during the 2nd half of the season. Sean Bergenheim, Scottie Upshall and Jack Skille all seem to be fully healthy and look to revive the slumping Panthers as soon as possible.
With players starting to get healthy and the roster relatively full with the new acquisitions of John Madden and Krys Barch, it looks like one or two players will end up missing valuable ice time. I think Mike Santorelli is the one that is going to be left out. After having a relatively succesful season last year with 41 points in 82 games. Coming into this season, Mike injured his shoulder in training camp and missed the first couple of games, and since then Mike Santorelli has only 7 points in 37 games. Not nearly the same Mike Santorelli that we saw last year.
I happen to be a fan of Mike and I know he hasn’t been getting the minutes with the top players on the Florida Panthers, but he has not really done anything that would convince Coach Dineen that he deserves to move up to the 2nd or even 3rd line. He has spent most of the time playing on the 4th line barely getting quality minutes, but he fails to use those minutes wisely and effectively.
The interesting thing about this situation is that Santorelli is signed to a one way contract meaning he can’t be sent down to the AHL, only Shawn Matthias, John Madden, Dmitry Kulikov and injured Jacob Markstrom have the ability to be sent back and forth. Matthias, and Kulikov are players that won’t be getting sent down anytime soon. John Madden seems to be accepted in the locker room and has played more time than Santorelli since he’s joined the team. The only thing I see happening is that either Santorelli is healthy scratched every night or he gets traded. Barch seems to be the main enforcer on the team so I don’t see him leaving either.
It’s good to see that the Panthers are starting to get their players back but it’s going to be interesting to see what Dale Tallon does in the next couple of days. I certainly hope Santorelli is given one more shot and he uses it effectively but in my opinion it doesn’t look to good for him going forward with the Panthers. I could be wrong, but Dale isn’t afraid to make some noise.
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