It took about three weeks but the Tampa Bay Lightning have made a roster move due to injury. TBO.com Lightning beat writer Erik Erlendsson announced yesterday that forward Ryan Malone had been placed on injured reserve with a lower body injury. It seems the injury occurred Sunday during the team’s usual pregame soccer kick-around, but may have been lingering before then. He has five points in 10 games this season and is expected to miss at least 10 days, though head coach Guy Boucher told the Tampa Bay Times’ Damian Cristodero it could possibly be 3-4 weeks.
Malone will be replaced by Richard Panik, a young 22 year old with no previous NHL experience. It’s not a big surprise though, as Panik is fourth in scoring with 35 points for the AHL‘s Syracuse Crunch. He’s also tied for fourth in the AHL with 21 goals this season, and has an almost unheard of plus-19 rating.
In a scouting report, Hockeysfuture.com had the following to say regarding Panik:
Panik is a highly-skilled, offensively-gifted forward with the size and speed needed to be a constant scoring threat. Like many young goal scorers, he has not yet developed his game on the defensive end – and is inconsistent in that area. Panik gained valuable experience playing in his first year in North America last season as well as with Slovakia playing against pros at the World Championships. He is still growing and developing but is a very promising offensive forward.
Panik will wear number 71, and should make his NHL debut tonight against the Montreal Canadiens in Tampa.