UPDATE TO ORIGINAL BLOG POST:
A few hours after I posted my initial blog this morning, The Hockey News posted an article about Spencer Knight
regarding the issue that caused him to seek help from the Player Assistance Program.
The young goalie was dealing with OCD that steamed back to his freshman year of college in 2019.
The article is a sad read when you put into context that here is a young guy with his NHL future looking bright, sidelined by a tough mental health issue.
Kudos to him, and glad he took the initiative to seek help. It’s great that he will be back on the ice for the Cats come training camp.
All the best to him!
ORIGINAL BLOG POST:
The best news for the Florida Panthers and their fans broke a couple days ago:
Matthew Tkachuk is healed and will be ready to go when training camp opens.
Per an article
from NHL writer Dan Rosen, Tkachuk has been cleared and will be a full participant at training camp.
With a number of Cats going to be out with injury to start the season (most notably Ekblad and Monty), this is a big boost to the South Florida squad.
In his own words, Tkachuk said:
"I am feeling great. It's been a very short summer, the way I want it to be every year going forward. The worst timing for the injury, obviously, Stanley Cup Final, but in a weird way I had time after where I wasn't missing X amount of months of game action, so I had the summer to get ready. I definitely improved on some things. The injury allowed me to work on some parts of fitness and conditioning and that is in the best form right now possible, and I just improved on some strength, which was my goal."
For many fans, Tkachuk is the unofficial captain and leader of this current incarnation of the Panthers, so having him fully healthy and ready to go is fantastic.
Until the big cats take the ice, it’s the kittens who get their time to shine during the Rookie Showcase event this weekend.
Have a great weekend…Go Panthers!