Shawn Matthias

Florida’s Matthias signs in Austrian league

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Panthers forward Shawn Matthias has agreed to a lockout deal with EHC Black Wings Linz of the Austrian league, according to the team website.

Mattias, 24, is coming off the finest season of his four-year NHL career, scoring 10G-14A-24PTS in 79 games. He also appeared in all seven games of Florida’s opening round playoff loss to New Jersey, notching one assist while averaging over 11 minutes a night.

With Linz, Mattias will join a handful of ex-NHLers — Pat Leahy, David LeNeveu, Curtis Murphy — and will also join a growing number of locked-out players suiting up in the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga, the top flight of professional hockey in Austria.

Thomas Vanek, David Clarkson, Tobias Enstrom, Derek Dorsett, Andrew Cogliano, Johnny Boychuk, Derick Brassard, Sam Gagner, Tyler Myers, Michael Grabner, Andreas Nodl and Bryan Bickell have all signed on with Austrian clubs, though it should be noted a few (Vanek, Clarkson and Enstrom most notably) have since returned to North America.

Matthias is in the final year of a two-year, $1.7 million deal with the Panthers. He was acquired from Detroit in 2007 as part of the Todd Bertuzzi trade.

Update: Wisniewski tore ACL 47 seconds into ‘Canes debut

James Wisniewski, John-Michael Liles, Elias Lindholm
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Last night, we passed along news that veteran d-man James Wisniewski — acquired from Carolina at the draft — suffered what looked to be a serious injury just 47 seconds into his ‘Canes debut, and was ruled out for the remainder of the night.

Now, he’s been ruled out for a lot longer than that.

From the club:

Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that defenseman James Wisniewski will undergo surgery on his left knee after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Thursday night’s game in Nashville.

Recovery time for the injury is estimated at six months.

This is, obviously, a tough development for both player and club. The ‘Canes were counting on Wisniewski to be a regular contributor on defense this year, and help improve last year’s middle-of-the-pack power play.

Wisniewski, meanwhile, was looking to bounce back from a disappointing ’14-15 campaign. He was shipped out of Columbus at the deadline to Anaheim but never made an impact for the Ducks, failing to see any playoff action as Anaheim made it all the way to the Western Conference final.

Jordan Weal to make NHL debut for Kings

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Two days after an uninspiring performance versus San Jose, the Los Angeles Kings will be getting an injection of youthful enthusiasm tonight versus Arizona.

Coach Darryl Sutter confirmed today that Jordan Weal will make his NHL debut at Staples Center.

A 23-year-old center, Weal is expected to replace Andy Andreoff and skate between Kyle Clifford and Jordan Nolan on the fourth line.

“It’s really exciting,” Weal told LA Kings Insider. “A lot of work has gone into getting to this part of my career, and the hard work’s just going to continue. It’s going to keep going, and I’m trying to do as much as I can in this game and keep improving from this game moving forward in trying to solidify a solid spot in the lineup.”

The 70th overall pick in 2010, Weal had 69 points in 73 games last season for AHL Manchester.

Related: Jordan Weal is looking to make the leap