Florida Panthers: Implications of the Evgenii Dadonov Injury

SUNRISE, FL - NOVEMBER 25: Evgeni Dadonov
SUNRISE, FL - NOVEMBER 25: Evgeni Dadonov /

Recently, the Florida Panthers organization announced that budding superstar forward Evgenii Dadonov would become sidelined for approximately 4-6 weeks.

Prior to the injury occurring, Dad, as nicknamed by FLA’s fan base, compiled an impressive 18 points in 22 games (almost a PPG pace). Since stepping into the vacated first line wing role due to the departure of legendary winger Jaromir Jagr (via free agency), Dadonov has arguably become one of FLA’s most reliable and consistently productive wingers, both defensively and offensively.

Dadonov demonstrated his explosiveness on a nightly basis, while paired alongside dynamic stars in Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov, developing chemistry as the season continually progressed.

The Florida Panthers’ record since losing the skillful Dadonov is 2-1-1. The Cats’ temporary success can be accredited to Denis Malgin, whose GWG uplifted the Cats over the powerhouse Rangers in MSG. “Denis the Menace” received a highly deserving call-up following the Dadonov injury, and was immediately placed onto the top line as Dadonov’s temporary replacement.

Needless to say, Malgin has relished this glorious opportunity by producing when necessary. Although, offensive consistency has been Denis’ primary issue, which has resulted in several demotions to the minors. Ultimately, determining whether Malgin can fulfill the essential role of providing substantial contribution to the first line remains to be seen, as Dadonov isn’t planning on returning fairly soon.

More from Editorials

The Panthers continued experimenting recently by placing the surging Nick Bjugstad on the top line against the Carolina Hurricanes. Bjugstad wound up registering 1G on his trademarked powerful driving move. The sudden emergence of Nick could potentially induce increased playing time, especially if Nick’s productivity continues soaring exponentially.

Although Dadonov’s presence will certainly be missed, the opening of a forward spot enables viable alternative options such as Henrik Hapaala, Nick Bjugstad, and Denis Malgin to showcase their talents for an extended period of time.

Dadonov’s injury is unquestionably a difficult pill to swallow, mainly because Florida’s forward depth was recently lessened with unfortunate injuries to Jared McCann and Radim Vrbata (thankfully they’ve returned).

However, FLA’s minor league team, Springfield Thunderbirds, are offensively challenged themselves and contain players who aren’t necessarily equipped to produce consistently at the big league level. Chase Balisy and Curtis Valk received temporary call-ups on several occasions, but ultimately failed to make a decent first impression, thereby resulting in their demotion to the minors.

Next: Florida Panthers: Looking back on Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault

The expectation is for Dadonov to return following the start of the new year, possibly stretching out to the conclusion of the all-star break, depending on his conditioning and progression while in rehabilitation. Essentially, Bob Boughner will likely present numerous players with opportunities to play high-end minutes until Dadonov returns.