The Florida Panthers are a trendy pick to make a run at the Stanley Cup playoffs this year, but have started camp off on a sour note. Jamie McGinn has undergone back surgery and will be out indefinitely.
McGinn, 30, was a nice surprise for the Panthers last season after acquiring him from the Arizona Coyotes. The return for Jason Demers, who was shipped to the desert due to his heft cap hit, McGinn ended up scoring 13 goals and 29 points while continuing his physical brand of hockey. Though he’s certainly not a top line option for the team, he did provide some nice depth on the wing and could fill in higher up when injuries happened.
The Panthers are considerably deeper up front this season after acquiring Mike Hoffman, Troy Brouwer and Frank Vatrano to round out their forward group and even expect younger players like Henrik Borgstrom and Owen Tippett to make an impact before long. That depth will allow them to deal with an injury to McGinn without much problem, but it does put pressure on the veteran upon his return. McGinn is in the final season of his current contract and hasn’t been able to match the 22-goal campaign that earned him $10MM over three years. If he wants anything close to that $3.33MM salary going forward he’ll have to get back to full health and start contributing right away.