A couple of quick hits coming out of the Panthers first day of training camp Thursday morning is that highly touted prospect Nick Bjugstad was a no-show because he sustained a concussion in the last rookie tournament game Sunday and is undergoing NHL-mandated concussion procedures. Bjugstad the 19th overall pick in 2010 who scored four goals in the final two rookie games including a hat trick against Boston on Saturday is hoping to vie for a spot on the 23-man opening-day roster but it’s more likely that he’ll start the season in San Antonio. Panthers coach Kevin Dineen admitted it took awhile to get over last year’s disastrous season but today was the beginning of a fresh slate. He was excited about the amazing progress made by Kris Versteeg’s ACL surgery and is optimistic he’ll be ready for Oct. 3. Dineen didn’t say it but he seemed pessimistic regarding the return of defenseman Ed Jovanovski (hip surgery on April 5). Jovo isn’t close to game action but he is skating with the team and he told us he is making progress. Dineen wasn’t sure if forward Sean Bergenheim (hip and abdomen) would be ready for opening day. He is not rushing Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau (hip) or top pick Sasha Barkov (shoulder) because he wants them ready for the Stars on opening day and not for Nashville on Monday. Huberdeau did some testing on ice while Barkov skated with the second group. Versteeg was thrilled to have RW Brad Boyes on the team (PTO) as he was one of his role models. Dineen also checked with San Jose and St. Louis folks on Boyes and he heard nothing but good reviews especially offensively. Dineen was happy with the overall conditioning of the team as that was his stern message to them in the exit meetings last April.
Panthers first day of camp report; Nick Bjugstad out with concussion
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | Sep 12