Jesse Winchester was suspended three games for his hit on Bruins forward Chis Kelly in Thursday night’s 4-1 Panthers loss in Boston.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety issued the following video explaining the hit and the reasoning behind the suspension:
Brendan Shanahan, the NHL’s Director of Player Safety had this to say about the hit, “Winchester is in control of this play and is responsible for the outcome. He sees Kelly clearly, elevates and extends his elbow directly into Kelly’s head.”
Losing Winchester will be tough for the Panthers as he has been one of the team’s most effective forwards over the last two weeks. Winchester is tied for third on the Panthers in points with seven (four goals, three assists). He will miss tonight’s game in Ottawa, tomorrows tilt in New York against the Rangers and Tuesday’s game in Florida against the Anaheim Ducks.
Ryan Whitney placed on waivers
The Florida Panthers have placed defenseman Ryan Whitney on waivers. The Panthers signed the 30-year old Whitney in September to a one-year $900,000 contract. Whitney is on a one-way contract so if he clears waivers and goes to AHL San Antonio he will retain his $900,000 salary. Whitney has played in six games for the Panthers so far this season alternating with Matt Gilroy as one of the Panthers healthy scratches. Whitney has zero points and a minus 7 rating.
If Whitney clears waivers he will play for the Panthers minor league affiliate the San Antonio Rampage. I expect that the Panthers will be calling up one of their young defensemen to replace Whitney, possibly Colby Robak or Alex Petrovic. My guess is Robak will get the call, he was one of the last Panthers cut prior to the start of the regular season.