Paul Thompson recalled as injury bug bites Panthers again

Image courtesy of @turbuL3NT2 / COTP Photography
Image courtesy of @turbuL3NT2 / COTP Photography

Paul Thompson was recalled by the Panthers from their AHL affiliate, the Springfield Thunderbirds, on Sunday afternoon after Jonathan Marchessault suffered a lower-body injury on Saturday. 

Thompson will make his Florida Panthers debut on Monday against the Boston Bruins and is expected to skate on the 4th line with Derek MacKenzie and Shawn Thornton. Marchessault was injured in the 3rd period against the Senators when his leg was briefly locked with Jean-Gabriel Pageau, pushing it outward in an awkward fashion.

Marchessault left the ice under his own power and did not return to the game. The Panthers announced on Sunday that he is day-to-day and is with Thompson being recalled, it’s likely that Marchessault will miss Monday’s game at the very least.

The Panthers acquired Paul Thompson, 28, from the Devils in June when they traded away the contract of Marc Savard and a 2018 2nd-round pick. Graham Black was also sent to the Panthers in the trade.

He failed to record any points in his only 3 NHL games which came last season with the Devils, although he does have 91 goals and 86 assists in 349 career AHL games.

Thompson tallied a career-high 33 goals two seasons ago and currently leads the Panthers’ struggling AHL affiliate with 6 goals and 9 assists in 20 games, including 3 power-play markers. He’s been deployed in a top-6 role with power play time while serving as an assistant captain for the Thunderbirds this season.

The Massachusetts-native plays a gritty, 2-way game which invovles driving to the net retrieving pucks, and getting physical in all 3 zones, a style that nearly won him a 4th-line job out of training camp in October.

Thompson will wear number 15 for the Panthers.

The Panthers have already lost a total of 63 man-games to injuries in less than 2 months from just 4 players: Jonathan Huberdeau, Nick Bjugstad, Jussi Jokinen, and Alex Petrovic. Despite improved defensive zone coverage, the entire forward group has had a rough time trying to put the puck in the net and the results over the past several games have reflected that.

Tom Rowe will be looking for his 2nd career win as an NHL coach on Monday when the Panthers face the Bruins who defeated the Sabres 2-1 on Saturday and have won 3 of their last 4 games. The Panthers 2nd line had the day off on Sunday while Denis Malgin skated on the top line with Aleksander Barkov and Jaromir Jagr.

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