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Big City (sort of) Debut

Matthias NEWARK - It appears the future is here.

Shawn Matthias, perhaps Florida's most talented youngster, makes his NHL debut tonight in the shadow of New York City. Sure, we're in Jersey, but you can see the big city from here.

Matthias seems pretty jacked about being called up, and why shouldn't he? He's been playing great lately, from his junior games in Belleville to Team Canada's Gold Medal performance in World Juniors.

Quite a whirlwind for him.

JM says he brought Matthias up mainly to see what he can do under the bright lights. That, and the Panthers really have no one else. The team is so banged up it has to recall a 19-year-old from juniors. But hey, good for the kid.

Here's the deal: Matthias can play 10 games at the NHL level before his NHL contract kicks in. The Panthers can send him back after 10-plus games, but he would burn a full year of his Panthers' contract which means they'd have to sign him again one year sooner.

Anyway, we'll worry about that one when the time comes.

JM says he is looking short term with Matthias right now, so don't expect him to be around long. Unless he plays his way onto the roster. The Panthers have high hopes for him, and are very excited about his future.

"I flew in the morning and I'm pretty excited,'' Mathias said. "It came out of nowhere. I'm looking forward to tonight, getting that first game out of the way.''

Said JM: "He had a real good world junior tournament, was playing well in junior. As you know, we already have quite a few of our players up from Rochester. This is a new face, a kid with some talent. We'll see if he can come in and help us. We'll see how he does this weekend then re-evaluate.''

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haha i told you george i hope he gets a chance to play tonight

He's gonna be a good one. I can't believe the Wings traded him away for the fragile Bertuzzi.

Unbelievable...

Congrats, Panthers fans! Hope he's the missing piece to your playoff hopes.

I could be wrong, but I think this is the rule as it applies. From what I've read, he's eligible to play tonight. Unless he was an unsigned prospect starting the season here, being that we signed him to an entry-level deal in December, he's eligible to play. (=

Moreover, if he plays in nine games or less while still junior-aged, he can be sent back to Belleville (no AHL or ECHL) and it wouldn't be a year against his contract, but after the tenth game, it kicks in and he's here to stay.

I think he will def be here after 10 games. I hope maybe he gives us a much needed spark. George is there any mention on what line he will be on? i would to see him with maybe dvorak or campbell and maybe even jokinen(which i know is far fetched..very excited(if he plays) to see what he can do

1 word.

w00t.

This is big! I love how Matthias plays as I got to watch some of him at the WJC on the line with John Tavares. I am so excited for this debut!

They said he spent the morning skating on a line with jokinen and horton..now that's a top line if i do say so myself

I know hes a center and so is Weiss but Weiss-Matthias and Booth line sounds pretty good

I think booth horton and matthias sounds better

Totally unexpected move, but a very welcome surprise. I'd love to see what Mattias can do on a line with the hard-working Booth and Weiss.

Like Holy Jokinen said, w00t!, indeed.

Lets hope this is the catalyst for the Panthers to turn this thing around.

Both carolina and atlanta lost last night i think this could be just the spark we need to get us back on track and into the all star break on a high note i think if martain does send him back down after 2 games that's a waste give him @ least till the all star break and see what he can do i def think he's gonna prove his worth for sure...Welcome aboard Shawn i don't think panthers have been this excited since we got pavel bure( and no i'm not comparing him to bure just the excitement factor)

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