With a lengthy injured list and five players on COVID-19 protocol, the Florida Panthers recalled four players from the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers today, per Florida Hockey Now’s George Richards.
Three of the callups have at least a handful of NHL games under their belt at this point (forward Grigori Denisenko and defensemen Matt Kiersted and Chase Priskie). Forward Cole Schwindt was also recalled and could make his NHL debut if Thursday night’s game against Los Angeles happens as scheduled.
Florida has a heavily depleted roster. Their COVID protocol list includes Carter Verhaeghe, Ryan Lomberg, Sam Bennett, Brandon Montour, and Radko Gudas. That’s bad enough on its own, but captain Aleksander Barkov, Mason Marchment, Noel Acciari, Markus Nutivaara, and Maxim Mamin are all unavailable due to injury. Gustav Forsling is out with an undisclosed illness.
Despite that, though, they still sit second in the Atlantic Division with an 18-6-4 record. They’ve dropped three out of four, though, as the absences begin to take their toll.