Vincent Trocheck thought he was a healthy scratch.
As a result, he was in no hurry to get to the Saddledome in Calgary Friday night where his Panthers’ teammates were getting set to play the Flames.
Panthers’ coach Gerard Gallant knew Dmitry Kulikov was going to miss the game with the flu; however, during the team’s pre-game skate, Aleksander Barkov also became ill.
The Panthers’ put out a call to Trocheck, who along with teammate Brandon Pirri, was still at the hotel.
“We left the hotel at 6:30, grabbed some dinner. Luckily I stayed light and got a salad,” Trocheck told George Richards of the Miami Herald. “There was a ton of traffic on the way here and we were going slow. Then they wouldn’t let us into the gate and we had to walk with all of our luggage.”
The 21-year-old made it to the Panthers’ bench just as the anthems were concluding.
He finished a plus-1 with two penalty minutes and 12:56 in ice time as the Panthers edged the Flames 6-5.
“I literally ran through the halls,” Trocheck said. “I was in the cab at 6:57 and on the ice by 7:04.”