Two days ago, Jonathan Huberdeau tweeted that he has started skating again following offseason hip surgery. Huberdeau plans to be ready when the Florida Panthers start training camp next month and this recent development is a good sign that his plan will come to fruition.
Huberdeau underwent the hip surgery on May 14th and since then he has been doing off-ice rehab activities. After winning the Calder Memorial Trophy for his rookie excellence, the Panthers and their fans have high hopes for Huberdeau’s sophomore season. Hopefully any issues that he was having at the end of last season have been taken care of by undergoing the hip operation and we can probably expect that he will be at full strength the when season starts in about eight weeks.
Panthers Sign Pinizzotto:
The Florida Panthers continued to add pieces to their organization with the signing of 29 year old center Steve Pinizzotto to a one year, two way deal. The 6’1 200 pound Pinizzotto made his NHL debut last season with the Vancouver Canucks playing in 12 regular season games and one playoff game. In his short NHL stint, he recorded zero points and 29 penalty minutes. In 234 career AHL games, Pinizzotto has recored 38 goals and 72 assists. He also played his college hockey at the Rochester Institute of Technology (Upstate New York shout-out!!!)
Pinizzotto will more than likely spend most of this season playing with the Panthers’ AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage. He could conceivably receive some run with the Panthers as a fourth line center if the team elects to go with a grittier lineup. As is the case with most veteran minor leaguers trying to make it to the big show, Pinizzotto is willing to drop the gloves if the situation arises. His toughness could be something the Panthers are lacking in this year as a quick run through their roster reveals a conspicuous lack of an enforcer type. Whether or not the Panthers need an enforcer is a conversation for another day, I personally believe that the enforcer role is on the way out in the NHL, but I digress. By adding Pinizzotto the Panthers bolstered their AHL depth. Will we see much of him with the Panthers this season? Probably not.