It’s obviously an interesting decision for a team that already has Sergei Bobrovsky and Spencer Knight on the roster, but with the latter struggling in his last game, perhaps the team believes he needs some time in the minor leagues. Knight has never suited up in the AHL, stepping right from the NCAA to the NHL last season for the Panthers after developing into one of the top goaltending prospects in the world. The 20-year-old has played in 12 games this season and has a .904 save percentage.
With Bobrovsky taking the bulk of the work so far–and looking rejuvenated after a pair of underwhelming seasons–allowing Knight to play games at the AHL level might not be the worst thing for his development. There also could be a nagging injury for one of their goaltenders or just another plan that requires Johansson’s services for the time being.
The Panthers have plenty of cap space thanks to the long-term injured reserve placement of Markus Nuutivara and Noel Acciari, but they will need to make a roster move to open a spot for Johansson. The team is currently at 23 bodies, including 14 forwards and seven defensemen.
For Colorado, losing Johansson certainly isn’t ideal. The team does have Pavel Francouz coming back, but they’re now quite thin at the position. Justus Annunen was forced to make his NHL debut recently when Darcy Kuemper suffered an injury, but the young netminder doesn’t appear ready for the highest level. Should Kuemper or Francouz suffer a setback, the team will be scrambling for help once again.