The Florida Panthers have announced that forward Aleksander Barkov is set to miss some time, and is currently listed as week-to-week after suffering a knee injury.
Aleksander Barkov Injured
Barkov was forced to leave Tuesday’s game against the Islanders after a scary knee-on-knee collision with New York Islanders defenceman Scott Mayfield. He did not return. However, he will not require surgery to treat his injury.
The Finnish centreman has been on a roll of late. He has produced 17 points in 15 games so far into the season. Barkov, who serves as the Panthers’ captain, will certainly be missed while he is out of the lineup for the team. The star has been a lifetime Panther, playing in his ninth season for the franchise. Barkov was drafted by the Panthers with the second selection in the 2013 NHL Draft. Barkov has been a force to be reckoned with since entering the league, producing a career-best 96 points in the 2018-2019 season.
What This Means For the Future
With Barkov missing time, the Panthers will look to maintain their spot atop of the Atlantic division. The team currently boasts a record of 11-2-3 but will be without their best player and captain for some games. Teammate Sam Bennett will look to jump into Barkov’s spot as the first line centre for the foreseeable future. Although Bennett is having a great season, he does not offer the same level of play as Barkov, both offensively or defensively.
However, Bennett has been great during his tenure in Florida. Ever since being traded to the team the Richmond Hill , Ontario native has produced 24 points in 22 games. The hole left by Barkov is certainly not an easy one to fill. It looks like the Panthers management clearly believe that Bennett is up for the task.
Ideally Barkov will not miss too much time out of the lineup for the red-hot Panthers. It looks like the team will be careful with their star centre and not rush his return. For the foreseeable future the Panthers will be without Aleksander Barkov.