Apr 16, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov (20) and New York Islanders center Josh Bailey (12) and New York Islanders defenseman Mark Streit (2) and New York Islanders defenseman Radek Martinek (4) help keep the puck out of the net against Florida Panthers center Nick Bjugstad (27) and Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) period of an NHL game at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Panthers Morning Nips: Nick Bjugstad To Make Debut?

The Initial excitement that comes with the start of a new hockey season is beginning to fade. We are getting used to having hockey back in our lives so naturally we now want more. That there are games being played is no longer enough to satisfy, now we want wins, now we crave glory. The opening week party has ended and the subsequent second week hangover has passed as well, now it is time for business.

Here is all the latest Florida Panthers news:

  • Nick Bjugstad was activated off IR prior to Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings. He was a healthy scratch on Sunday but he has been skating with the team and appears ready to go. He could make his season debut tonight in Nashville against the Predators. Bjugstad has been out with a concussion that he sustained on September 8th, in the last game of the Panthers’ rookie camp. Personally I expected Florida to start Bjugstad in the AHL with the San Antonio Rampage but I am happy to be wrong and am excited to see what he can do this year with the Cats. If Bjugstad plays tonight, he will probably center the fourth line with Shawn Matthias shifting over to the wing.
  • While the Bjugstad news is good, the latest news on Sean Bergenheim is downright puzzling. The Sun-Sentinel reports that Bergenheim has flown to Toronto to undergo five days of work with his personal physical trainer. Bergenheim was expected to meet with his doctor in Nashville on Tuesday and potentially get cleared to play but apparently he feels the trip to Toronto is the move for his recovery. The Bergenheim hip/abdomen/groin injury saga has been a long strange ride dating back to the NHL lockout. Bergenheim has been skating with the team and appears close to coming back but this latests news seems fishy. Truthfully I would not be surprised at all if Bergenheim does not play another game for the Panthers.
  •  Tim Thomas returned to practice on Monday for the first time since injury his groin against the Philadelphia Flyers last Tuesday, the Miami Herald reports. Thomas did not make the trip to Nashville so Jacob Markstrom should get the start for the Panthers tonight.
  • In honor of the Panthers twentieth anniversary check out this video recapping the team’s inaugural season. The video is titled Heart & Soul but it could very well be called Mullets & Ugly Ties, definitely worth the look. P.S. I want every one of the snapbacks shown in this video…


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