After former Florida Panther Radek Dvorak collided with goaltender Roberto Luongo, fans held their breath until they were sure their goalie was okay. After shaking off the cob webs, Luongo was able to finish the period but was lifted in favor of backup Dan Ellis.
The team said they pulled Luongo for precautionary reasons and that he did suffer an upper body injury in the collision but did not specify what. Today’s move makes it look like it was a little more than a precautionary move as they recalled Scott Clemmensen from the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League.
Clemmensen was the team’s backup when Tim Thomas was the goalie, but after the Luogno and Ellis trades – he was put on waivers and sent to the AHL.
With the Panthers’ minor league affiliate, Clemmensen has posted a 3.16 GAA to go with a .898 SP. Not good numbers, especially for a veteran goaltender who was on your NHL roster and is your first option as a recall.
For however long Luongo is out (and it seems they are going game-by-game) it seems Ellis will be the guy. Florida doesn’t play anymore back-to-backs so if Luongo is out for an extended period of time they could roll with Ellis the rest of the year.
They could use this time now to determine who the front runner could be to Luongo’s backup. Ellis is signed for another year, but has been underwhelming in his three appearances in with Florida. Clemmensen has been with the Panthers for the previous five seasons, playing as the backup in that span.
Neither seem like a good option to backup Luongo, all though with his history of being a workhorse they could afford to keep one of them and only play them in 10-15 games. If they choose to rest the 35-year old (will be when next season starts) Luongo more, another backup may be needed to be brought in.
The Panthers take on the Montreal Canadiens tomorrow night at the BB & T Center.
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