Florida Panthers head coach Gerard Gallant has confirmed that forward Vincent Trocheck will miss the remained of the regular season with a leg injury, thought to be a non-displaced fracture, sustained whilst blocking a shot during Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
#FlaPanthers coach Gerard Gallant says Vincent Trocheck out for rest of regular season; opportunity for Rocco Grimaldi to play big C mins
— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) March 30, 2016
Nick Bjugstad is expected to take Trocheck’s place on the Panthers second line along side Jussi Jokinen and Reilly Smith.
Pending restricted free agent Trocheck has scored 25 goals – including four game winning goals – and 53 points in 76 games for the Panthers this season, placing him third in team scoring behind Jokinen and Jaromir Jagr. He also ranks fourth in hits (125).
Drafted in the third round (64th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by Florida, the 22-year-old has registered 37 goals and 83 points in 146 career NHL games to date and the club are hoping the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native will be healthy again for the start of the playoffs.
Trocheck’s absence opens up an opportunity for rookie skater Rocco Grimaldi to impress, as he is slated to center the club’s third line with veterans Teddy Purcell and Jiri Hudler. Grimaldi has one goal and two points in 14 games for the club this season. He also made seven appearances last season, scoring one goal.
Florida are currently second in the Atlantic Division, tied on 93-points with rivals Tampa Bay. Both clubs have six games remaining on their schedule, with the Panthers embarking on a three game road trip on April 4th before finishing out the regular season on home ice against Carolina on Saturday April 9th.