Panthers' Kris Versteeg to have season-ending knee surgery

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Versteeg holds his knee after being hit on Tuesday night. (Getty Images)
Versteeg holds his knee after being hit on Tuesday night. (Getty Images)

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Another week, another season-ending injury for the Florida Panthers to contend with.

Panthers coach Kevin Dineen informed the media in Boston on Thursday that Kris Versteeg is going to undergo season-ending surgery on his knee. This comes a week after it was announced that Stephen Weiss was going to miss the rest of the season because of surgery on his wrist and Jose Theodore might be done with a groin issue.

Absolutely nothing is going right for the Panthers this season. Perhaps it's hockey karma catching up to them for their Southeast Division title last season.

It's been a brutally tough season for Versteeg. He began the year on the injured list that came from the lockout. He was able to return and not long after he was injured once again, this time on a check from Alex Ovechkin into the boards. That put him on the shelf for a couple of weeks.

When he finally returned, he took a shot to his knee from Tampa Bay's Radko Gudas on Tuesday night in Florida. He was in obvious pain and now we know it's going to cost him the rest of the season.

That's also another potential trade target you can scratch off the Panthers' list. Versteeg just signed a new contract for four years and $4.4 million per season, but the Panthers have been brutally bad and it appears almost the entire team is available for trade. That includes Versteeg, who is a consistent 20-goal scorer.

He had his best season last season with Florida, teaming up with Weiss and Tomas Fleischmann to do the bulk of the scoring for the Panthers. This season, though, he was only able to rack up two goals and two assists in 10 games.

It's just not Florida's season.

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