The Florida Panthers sent two players to the 2014 Winter Olympics and lost them both. Forwards Aleksander Barkov and Tomas Kopecky are both listed as being out indefinitely as the NHL schedule resumes, according to the Sun Sentinel.
Barkov sustained a knee injury during Finland’s game against Norway. The Finnish Broadcasting Company suggested that he could be out for up to six weeks, but the Panthers might err on the side of caution and shut him down for the remainder of the season given that they have no realistic chance of making the playoffs anyways.
If that’s the case, then it’s an unfortunate end to an encouraging rookie season for the 18-year-old. Barkov is tied for 10th among rookies with 24 points in 54 games this season.
The Panthers plan to have fellow rookie Nick Bjugstad fill in for Barkov on a line with Brad Boyes and Sean Bergenheim.
Kopecky was hurt when he was hit in the head by Slovenian defenseman Sabahudin Kovacevic while he was playing for Slovakia. As feared, Kopecky has a concussion as a result of the incident.
Kopecky is signed through the 2014-15 campaign, but the Panthers might have traded the 32-year-old forward before the deadline if he wasn’t hurt.