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Here is the first big news that could affect Sarge's team.

Panthers' Huselius out 4-6 weeks

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By Michael Russo

Sun-Sentinel

September 15, 2002

CORAL SPRINGS -- It turns out Kristian Huselius' knee injury is more serious than the Panthers had thought.

The results of an MRI showed Saturday that Huselius' sprain is the most severe type, a Grade 3, to the medial collateral ligament in his left leg.

The second-year left wing, who led the Panthers with 23 goals last season, is expected to miss 4-6 weeks, which means he'll be out all of training camp and probably at least the first week of the season.

The Panthers open against Tampa Bay on Oct. 10.

"Hopefully he's a quick healer and it's less, but you've got to count on four weeks at least," General Manager Rick Dudley said. "Anytime you lose for any length of time a player like that, it hurts.

"But if you want to look on the bright side, it happened now and not the middle of the season. By the time we roll around to the season, he should be closing in on 100 percent."

In a scrimmage Friday, Huselius collided at full speed with center Byron Ritchie. The incident looked bad at first, but the injury was diagnosed as a Grade 1 sprain, which would have meant a few days to a week off the ice.

"To happen the first day of camp, of course it's disappointing," Huselius said. "But it's part of the game. And maybe this will be good. I can work on gaining weight and building strength. I hope to play by the opening game, but you never know."

Huselius' injury opens the door a little wider for wingers on the bubble such as Denis Shvidki, Jim Campbell and Hannes Hyvonen.

"There are people who are out there that are skilled enough to play in the NHL," Dudley said. "These are the types of opportunities that can turn into long-term careers if you take advantage. They're going to get to play through training camp as a key guy now that Huselius is out."

While it was expected that Shvidki and Campbell would make runs for a roster spot, Hyvonen has been a surprise throughout the summer.

The 27-year-old Finnish left wing scored 24 goals and 42 points in 67 games in his first year of pro hockey last season for AHL Cleveland.

"He's got a cannon of a shot and he also plays with an edge," Dudley said. "He has the intensity, the passion, the size and the skating ability. He plays an all-around game, but he's going to have to do it consistently."

The scorers

Ritchie, Campbell and Jonathon Gagnon scored goals to lead the Red team to a 3-2 win during Saturday's scrimmage. Marcus Nilson had a goal and an assist for the Blue team. Pierre Dagenais also scored.

The only altercation was a brief pushing match between Valeri Bure and Gaetan Royer, who has 6 inches and 35 pounds on Bure.

Dudley is pleased with the play of center Viktor Kozlov. Kozlov looks to be recovered from his hernia surgery and made a number of deft puck-handling moves Saturday.

Dudley is also happy with Ritchie, Nilson and defensemen Jay Bouwmeester, Lukas Krajicek, Branislav Mezei and Ivan Majesky.

"It's a little early to be pitting people against one another, but if you think about the defense and wonder who are going to be the seven or eight who make it, it's not an easy thing to determine," Dudley said. "It's a good thing that you can't yet sort it out.

"Up front we have the same type of competition. That's encouraging. That's healthy. None of these kids are stupid. They go back and look at the list and say, `Hmm, I have to beat out five people to get that job. So I better be good.' It creates passion."

The winners

The veteran winner of the training camp fitness award was Bure. The rookie winner was Bouwmeester. Honorable mentions for veterans went to center Andy Lundbohm and right wing Ivan Novoseltsev. Honorable mentions for rookies went to right wing Kyle Bruce and center Greg Campbell.

The Panthers were tested for anaerobic and aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility as they received physicals.

The Owners

Majority owner Alan Cohen has added St. Louis-based orthopedic surgeon Rick Lehman to his ownership group.

Michael Russo can be reached at mrusso@sun-sentinel.com.

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This I think affects Joe B's team.

http://www.miami.com/mld/miami/sports/4096343.htm

Posted on Wed, Sep. 18, 2002

Laus is likely out for the year

Wrist sidelines original Panther

BY DAVID J. NEAL

dneal@herald.com

Joe Rimkus Jr. / Herald Staff

MISSING OUT: Panthers veteran Paul Laus, could possibly be lost for the season after having surgery to repair a wrist injury that has not healed properly.

The 10th season of the Panthers franchise probably won't include the last original Panther, defenseman Paul Laus, after he underwent wrist surgery Tuesday night.

The surgery, performed by Dr. Lee Osterman in Philadelphia, was a partial fusion of bones in Laus' right wrist to stabilize the wrist.

''I don't know if it means he's absolutely lost for the season, but they didn't tell us he will be back,'' said Panthers general manager Rick Dudley, who doesn't plan on Laus being back.

Laus missed the last 34 games of the 2001-02 season after fracturing his right wrist in a Jan. 19 fight against Atlanta, bringing his total to 94 of 164 games over two seasons.

Laus had surgery on the wrist, but it didn't heal properly. He had a new cast put on the wrist after pain flared again during August veterans' conditioning camp.

''We would liked to have avoided this,'' Dudley said. ``It could've been avoided if everything had healed properly, but it didn't.''

Now, there's one fewer defenseman in a competitive field for the seven or eight roster spots. There has never been a Panthers season without the one defenseman they lost Tuesday. He's the franchise's all-time leader in penalty minutes with 1,702 and is third in games played with 530.

He was the second defenseman taken by the Panthers in the 1993 expansion draft. Only 23 active NHL players have been with their current team longer than Laus has been with the Panthers. He's the only player from the early 1990s expansion teams (San Jose, Tampa Bay, Ottawa, Anaheim, Florida) still with his team.

''It speaks to the character of the guy,'' Dudley said. ``He's a guy you like to have on your team.''

Laus, who punched his way to 427 penalty minutes with Pittsburgh's top minor affiliate in 1992-93, came to the Panthers strictly a fighter. He hadn't been able to get into an NHL game with the Penguins, then at the top of the NHL.

He made the Panthers' top eight, but got into only 39 of 84 games the inaugural season (there were two extra games during the years the NHL played neutral-site games). But during the shortened 1995 lockout season, Laus had become an NHL regular, getting into 37 of 45 games.

Over the next five seasons, Laus proved durable, averaging 76.8 games per season. He also established himself as a legitimate NHL heavyweight and Panthers fan favorite.

Dudley had admired Laus from Ottawa and Tampa Bay.

''He's a warrior-type of guy that you want on your team because he played every game like it was his last,'' Dudley said. ``I always thought Paul Laus was a hell of a lot better player than he was given credit for. They wouldn't have traded him across the state, but I would've liked to trade for him.''

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Just an update for people in our league. Eric Daze is out a month.

http://tsn.ca/fantasy_sports/hockey/news_s...ory.asp?ID=5691

NHL Files: Not so happy Daze

tsn.ca Staff

9/24/2002

A Hawks has his wings clipped, a former Hawk is howling about his new linemates and the Blue Jackets have a surprising fit alongside a comfortable pair.

The Chicago Blackhawks announced that winger Eric Daze will undergo surgery on Wednesday for a herniated disk and will be re-evaluated in six weeks.

Daze's absence should increase the opportunity for a player like Sergei Berezin to play with a scoring line and for youngsters like Tyler Arnason or Mikhail Yakubov to at least start the season in the Windy City.

The Arizona Republic reports that new Coyotes

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thornton out with shoulder injury

October 7, 2002

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Scott Thornton, second on the San Jose Sharks in goals last season, will be out indefinitely with a shoulder injury.

Thornton had arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder during the offseason, but the left wing has experienced pain in a different area of his shoulder during the preseason. He left Sunday's exhibition finale in Vancouver during the third period.

``The type of game he plays, he's got to have confidence in his shoulder,'' Sharks coach Darryl Sutter said Monday. ``Every game he played in, he looked tentative, and that's not (Thornton).''

The Sharks expected to know more about Thornton's injury after an examination on Tuesday, but Sutter said: ``It's going to be a while.''

Thornton had 26 goals and 16 assists last season -- both career-highs -- while playing on a line with Mike Ricci and Niklas Sundstrom. Adam Graves or Todd Harvey are the top candidates to take Thornton's place.

Thornton's injury leaves the Sharks without three key players as they open the regular season at home Thursday against Detroit.

San Jose still hasn't signed restricted free agent defenseman Brad Stuart or goalie Evgeni Nabokov. In addition, left wing Marco Sturm has a sore groin that kept him out of practice Monday.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news/ap/200210...s-thornton.html

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