Florida Panthers MacKenzie Weegar on IR, Will Miss two Games

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CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 23: Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar (52) warms up prior to a game between the Florida Panthers and the Chicago Blackhawks on December 23, 2018, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

MacKenzie Weegar will be absent from the Florida Panthers next two games after being listed on injured reserve Thursday. Weegar was placed in concussion protocol Tuesday during Floridas 5-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

Panthers Weegar Injured

Weegar’s injury occurred in the second period of Tuesday’s contest against the Canadiens. Habs forward Paul Byron launched himself at Weegar, crushing him against the boards as Weegar was chasing the puck down in the Panthers zone. Weegar lost his helmet as a result of the hit and was slow to get back to his feet. The defenseman left the ice and didn’t return to the game. Initially, the Panthers dubbed Weegar’s injury as an upper-body injury. The team later confirmed he was in the concussion protocol.

Byron earned a minor penalty after the hit was deemed a charge. After reviewing the play, the Department of Player Safety handed down a three-game suspension to the forward on Wednesday. This suspension is the first for Byron over his 397 game NHL career. The decision has spurred some debate among fans as to whether it was malicious or not, despite Byron’s clean record. He will forfeit $18,817.20 and won’t be eligible to return until February 2nd.

After 42 games this season, Weegar owns one goal and six assists for seven points. In his two full seasons at the NHL level, he’s netted three goals and 12 assists for 15 points in 105 games.

What this means for the future

The Panthers have not announced any call-ups as of yet. It’s unlikely they will since Weegar is only expected to miss the next two games. The club is hoping he will be medically cleared to suit up on Monday when the Panthers face off against the San Jose Sharks. Bogdan Kiselevich could slot back into the lineup during Weegar’s absence. Kiselevich has been a scratch since January 13th.

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