Florida Panthers forward Jamie McGinn underwent successful back surgery but is now expected to miss significant time with the club as a result. General manager Dale Tallon made the announcement on Friday morning and McGinn will be out of the lineup indefinitely.
— Harvey Fialkov (@hfialkov) September 14, 2018
Jamie McGinn Out Indefinitely Following Back Surgery
Jamie McGinn, 30, suited up for 76 games in his first season as a Panther. The forward scored 13 goals and 16 assists for 29 points. He played the majority of his minutes on the bottom two lines and penalty kill, supplying grit with a scoring touch to the team’s depth. Although his possession metrics were poor (-4.2 relative Corsi-for), his 120 hits stood out for Florida. The Cats were a team without much toughness last season. Losing McGinn further limits them in that regard.
He now enters the last year of his three-year contract on the injured reserve. Keep an eye on the team’s Long-Term Injured Reserve (LTIR) list; if McGinn is to be missing for a real long time frame, the team could recover his cap hit by placing him on their LTIR. This would add $3.33 million in space, a significant addition for a club less than $2 million from the cap ceiling.
Although the team did not announce a specific timetable for his return, back surgeries typically require long recovery periods. It is safe to assume he’ll be out for a while.
Moving Forward Without McGinn
While injuries and surgeries are never ideal, the Panthers do have a glut of players competing for those bottom six roles next season. They undoubtedly have bodies to fill in, but might not be able to replace McGinn’s style. The question remains to be seen whether any of the youngsters and vets fighting for ice time can supply the same level of grit and physicality McGinn would have.
Plenty of Replacement Options in Florida
With McGinn out for the foreseeable future, Florida still has nine players battling for six spots in the bottom six. Captain Derek MacKenzie seems to be a lock as the fourth line centerman, largely because he wears the “C”. Fighter Micheal Haley could slide in and out often. Youngsters Owen Tippett and Henrik Borgstrom will be given every opportunity to make the team as the franchise’s top two prospects, and at least one of them (probably Borgstrom) seems to be a lock. Besides them, the Panthers also have Jared McCann, Colton Sceviour, Frank Vatrano, Troy Brouwer, and Denis Malgin on their roster.
Oh, and Mark Letestu received a Professional Tryout Offer (PTO) to attend Florida’s training camp.
Losing McGinn is unfortunate, but this team has plenty of replacement options. In fact, he would have been fighting for his ice time as much as the rest in this group. It simply removes one guy from the fight.
SUNRISE, FL – DECEMBER 9: Goaltender Semyon Varlamov #1 of the Colorado Avalanche guards the post as Jamie McGinn #88 of the Florida Panthers skates in on the net at the BB&T Center on December 9, 2017, in Sunrise, Florida. The Avalanche defeated the Panthers 7-3. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)