Panthers Star Defenseman Placed On LTIR

The Florida Panthers have placed Aaron Ekblad on LTIR. According to Frank Seravalli, he is expected to return at some point during the first round of the playoffs. 

Ekblad left Friday's game against the Anaheim Ducks after an awkward collision. He was unable to put any weight down on his leg and understandably left the game. 

Although Ekblad is likely done for the regular season, it is good to hear that he should be back in time for the playoffs. He is their best defenseman, and they obviously need him healthy to help their chances of winning their first-ever Stanley Cup.

Ekblad's $7.5 million cap hit will be off the books while he is on LTIR, so this also opens the door for Florida to make more moves - similarly to what the Tampa Bay Lightning did last season with Nikita Kucherov. 

Nevertheless, don't expect to see the Panthers done making trades. They have even more money to work with now. 

Photo Credit: © Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports