The big news of yesterday was that Michael Nylander has been loaned to the Florida Panthers by the Washington Capitals and will play for the Rochester Americans. Of course, the news happened when I was away from cyberspace for the day. Nylander was acquired as a replacement for the injured Mark Cullen who was slated to be the Amerks number one center this season. The Panthers could have just waited until training camps finished to see how the team looked but they didn’t, they made a move to get a guy who still has some gas left in the tank and will be great with the younger players.
“He’s coming here to help our young guys,” Panthers assistant general manager Mike Santos said. “He’s not coming here grumbling. He wants to resurrect his career for one more shot.”
A year ago the Capitals decided they didn’t need Nylander and he was loaned to Jokerit-Helsinki in the Finnish League 3-4-7 in 14 games) and also played for the Grand Rapids Griffins in the AHL (2-16-18 in 24 games) on Washington’s dime.
In 2008-09, his last NHL season, he scored 9-24-33 in 72 games for the Capitals. For his career, he has 209-470-679 in 920 NHL games for the Whales, Flames, Lightning, Blackhawks, Capitals, Bruins and Rangers, as well as 12-22-34 in 47 Stanley Cup playoff games.
“He’s a quality person and a proven player,” said Mike Santos, assistant general manager of the Panthers. “I don’t know him personally but I know him from watching him score against my teams.
“I need a guy who can play in that No. 1 center role. He’s the best guy out there.”
If he can put some points on the board and help boost the younger guys on the roster he’ll work out well. As the roster looks more and more complete it is worth noting that the Panthers are the ones filling out the roster and so far things aren’t looking too bad.