Devastating news for Aaron Ekblad and the Florida Panthers as he will be out for the year after suffering a leg fracture on Sunday.
The injury occurred in the second period with the Panthers up 3-1 on the Stars. Florida’s star defenseman went to play the puck in the corner and there was some minor contact and as he was trying to regain his balance his left leg dug hard into the ice causing it to buckle. Ekblad’s ankle and knee then bent awkwardly under pressure of his weight.
Ekblad left the game on a stretcher
The star blue-liner was down in pain and banged the ice with his hand. He had to leave the game on a stretcher but acknowledged the crowd with a thumbs up. The 25 year-old defender was having a standout season with 22 points in 35 games. Florida won the game 4-1, but the joy was fleeting knowing that Ekblad’s injury was serious.
“That was a very important win for us,” Quenneville said. “You lose a guy like [Ekblad] and you know the severity of it, you see it, it’s not an easy game to go through. I thought the guys stayed with it and battled. Two points for him and for us, and at the same time you lose a guy that’s having one of those seasons, you have a defenseman that’s controlling the play in big minutes and all situations and you lose him and you lose his leadership, it’s tough. It’ll be a good test for us for sure.”NHL.com
The Florida Panthers are already said to be in the market for a defenseman at the trade deadline. More to follow.
Check out the latest NHL Trade Bait Tracker here.