The Florida Panthers signed defenseman Steven Kampfer to a two-year extension the club announced on Saturday.
The 26-year-old was on a one-year, $550,000 deal and set to become a restricted free agent after this season.
Florida acquired Kampfer along with Andrew Yogan from the New York Rangers for Joey Crabb in October.
“Since we acquired Steven in October, he has been a welcome addition to our organization,” said Panthers’ GM Dale Tallon. “He has worked extremely hard since his recall and has fit very well into our line-up, contributing both offensively and defensively.
“Steven is most deserving of this contract extension and we look forward to his continued contributions to our club.”
Kampfer has a goal and three helpers to go along with a minus-3 rating while averaging 17:58 in ice time in 18 games with the Panthers this season.
He has also appeared in 42 AHL games with the San Antonio Rampage registering eight goals and 19 points.
The Florida Panthers met the Montreal Canadiens for the second time this season and once again 65 minutes of hockey wasn’t enough to settle their differences. This time around though, it was Florida that came out on top in a 3-2 shootout victory.
Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo deserves a lot of credit for this outcome as Montreal managed to out shoot the Panthers 39-21 prior to the skills competition. Despite that, Brendan Gallagher was the only member of the Canadiens that solved Luongo in regulation time tonight, although for a time it looked like that might be enough as he gave Montreal a 2-0 lead.
Florida clawed its way back into this one with 26-year-old defenseman Steven Kampfer eventually tying the contest with his first goal of the season:
Dave Bolland accounted for the deciding goal in the shootout.
Florida’s comeback is bad news for the Boston Bruins as it magnifies their recent struggles. After losing five straight games, Boston’s edge over Florida in the battle for the second Wild Card spot has been reduced to a single point. The fight between those two squads might come down to the wire and if that’s the case then they’ll have plenty of opportunities to directly gain an edge as the Bruins and Panthers are scheduled to meet on March 21, March 31, and April 9.
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The most obvious injury problem for the Boston Bruins is that of Marc Savard, but let’s face it, the question isn’t about whether he’ll return during the playoffs (he won’t) but rather if he will ever play another NHL game.
Beyond the obvious case of Savard, the Bruins are a fairly healthy bunch compared to some of the other 15 teams entering the playoffs. That doesn’t mean that they are totally without wounded players, though, as Joe Haggerty reports that depth defenseman Steven Kampfer is expected to miss “a couple weeks” with a knee injury.
Kampfer is a 22-year-old defenseman who put together a solid abbreviated 2010-11 season, scoring five goals and five assists for 10 points and a +9 rating in 38 games. Haggerty reports that Kampfer wasn’t expected to be in the Bruins’ starting lineup, indicating that he was probably the team’s seventh defenseman. Shane Hnidy will most likely step into that (inactive) role now.
It’s not a huge blow, but the Bruins’ defense already drops off noticeably after its top two, so losing a depth blueliner is less than ideal. The Bruins claim that the injury isn’t severe, but he will miss at least two weeks.
Most of the time, hockey players worry about the opposition leaving them injured. Yet considering the chaos and speed inherent to the game, it’s not that shocking that teammates accidentally hurt each other from time to time as well.
It happened at least twice tonight so far, as Chris Thorburn accidentally hit Atlanta Thrashers goalie Chris Mason and also in today’s early afternoon game, as Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara’s high stick broke the nose of teammate Steven Kampfer.
ESPN Boston’s Joe McDonald reports that although Pittsburgh Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis received a four-minute double-minor penalty during the play, it actually might have been big Chara’s stick that did the damage.
Kampfer is far from a marquee player for the Bruins, but he’s been a solid addition with four goals and two assists for six points in 18 games since being called up from the minors on December 8th.