Sports Outside the Beltway

Florida Panthers- Even more pain

More bad injury news for my favorite NHL hockey team-

The Panthers’ anemic offense took another hit when center Nathan Horton was lost for an indefinite amount of time after sustaining a deep leg cut in the third period of Wednesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils.

Horton got tangled up with a Panthers player and New Jersey defenseman Colin White against the boards and had his leg stepped on; the skate blade cut through Horton’s boot and left a deep gash.

Horton didn’t suffer a major injury, but coach Pete DeBoer said because of where the cut is, Horton (six goals, seven assists) cannot play. The Panthers likely will call up Shawn Matthias from AHL Rochester to replace Horton for tonight’s home game against the New York Rangers.

“He’s out through the weekend, then we’ll go from there,” DeBoer said. “It’s tough to see on the video how it happened.”

With Horton now down, Florida is without three of its most productive scorers. Cory Stillman and Richard Zednik are out with injuries also. The return to Matthias to Florida is the only good news to come out of this. I was very impressed by his play during a short call up last year.

In other Panthers news, Florida’s on again off again relationship with forward Wade Belak has come to a close

The Panthers traded enforcer Wade Belak to the Nashville Predators for center Nick Tarnasky on Thursday.

Tarnasky, 24, has no goals and one assist in 11 games with Nashville. The 6-foot-2, 224-pounder has 11 goals, 10 assists and a minus-23 rating in 180 games.

The Panthers placed Belak on waivers Saturday.

He cleared Monday, met with coach Pete DeBoer Tuesday and was in Wednesday’s lineup against the Devils.

Only a minus 23 rating in his NHL career. Tamasky should fit in well with the Panthers. Wasn’t one of the reason GM Jacques Martin traded Olli Jokinen was because the then Florida Captain had a minus 19 rating last year? More bright moves from the management of the Florida Panthers.

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