The Florida Panthers made a pair of roster moves on Thursday, announcing that they have assigned center Denis Malgin to their AHL affiliate in Springfield. Taking his place on the roster is goaltender Reto Berra.
Berra will be covering for backup goaltender James Reimer, who left the team to be with his wife as he gives birth, notes George Richards of the Miami Herald (Twitter link). The Panthers acquired Berra back in June in exchange for prospect forward Rocco Grimaldi to give them an NHL-caliber insurance policy. In 20 minor league games this year, he has a 9-8-2 record with a 2.24 GAA and a .918 SV%.
Malgin was one of the surprises of the preseason, making the team as a 19 year old after a fairly quiet season in the Swiss League the year before. He got off to a strong start, collecting four goals and four assists in his first 17 games.
Things haven’t gone as swimmingly lately for the 2015 fourth round pick though. He has been held off the scoresheet in his last 22 games while seeing his ice time drop considerably as well. Despite his struggles, the Panthers declined to loan him to the Swiss entry at the recently-completed World Juniors.
Interim head coach and general manager Tom Rowe noted to Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel (Twitter link) recently that he was concerned that Malgin had hit the rookie wall. Accordingly, while Berra’s stint with the big club may be short, there’s a good chance that Malgin won’t be the one coming back up in a few days when Reimer returns to the lineup.