The Florida Panthers made a few heads turn today when they announced that veteran forward Jamie McGinn had been placed on waivers, but it likely could have been expected given the extent of his injury that has kept him out all year. McGinn has a big enough contract to probably avoid any claim since he hasn’t proven his health at all this year. There was another older player on his way to Springfield today though, this time with not such a hefty contract. Included at the very bottom of the press release explaining three call-ups today was the news that Bogdan Kiselevich has been assigned to the Thunderbirds.
Kiselevich, 28, was made available for trade earlier this month by the Panthers, after failing to really make an impact with the team. In 31 games the Russian defenseman has recorded eight points, but has been a healthy scratch at times and hasn’t suited up since January 13th. He played just 12:33 in that contest, but amazingly that wasn’t even close to his lowest total of the season. In 17 of his 31 games Kiselevich has received less than 15 minutes of ice time, including a season-low of 10:52 on New Year’s Eve.
Now, with MacKenzie Weegar close to a return and Kiselevich headed to the minor leagues it is unclear what the future holds. The KHL veteran signed a one-year contract with the Panthers in the summer and will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. He’s waiver exempt for this year allowing the team to move him up and down without risk, but Josh Brown and Ian McCoshen both getting the call today there doesn’t seem to be any room in the NHL. That means he could still be used as trade bait, but as of yet there doesn’t seem to be a market, or at least not one that has satisfied GM Dale Tallon.
There is reason to believe that the left-handed defenseman can help someone, given his success overseas. Part of the gold medal-winning “Olympic Athletes from Russia” squad and a staple of the CSKA blue line the last few years, Kiselevich actually put up some good possession statistics in his short opportunity in Florida. We’ll have to wait and see if someone takes a chance on him at the deadline, and if he wants to remain in North America for next season. The Panthers are back in action tomorrow night against the Nashville Predators.