One of the early mysteries of this season has been the status of Florida Panthers forward Micheal Haley after being removed from the active roster, but today the league and team provided at least a partial answer. Haley will be away from the team indefinitely while taking part in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. Panthers GM Dale Tallon released a statement giving Haley his support:
Michael is a valued part of our team and Panthers family. He has our full support as he takes the time he needs to tend to this matter.
Haley hadn’t played yet this season for the Panthers after suiting up 75 times in 2017-18. On the final year of his current contract he is making $850K, though his cap hit lies a little lower at $825K. A physical presence for the fourth line, his absence may have pushed the Panthers to sign a player like Troy Brouwer late in the offseason and is currently giving an opportunity to at least one of the young forwards up with the club. As unfortunate as the situation is, the Panthers have the depth to overcome a loss for as long as it takes Haley to get help.
At PHR, like the rest of the hockey world, we hope that Haley is given the assistance he needs to get healthy and resume his career. The 32-year old has the full support of his organization, and hopefully the NHLPA even after his current contract expires.