Defenseman Tom Gilbert had sports hernia surgery in Philadelphia on Thursday morning and will miss the final nine games of the Florida Panthers' season.
Gilbert, a pending free agent, has been fighting what some described to me as a hip injury for sometime now. Apparently it was a little more than that. Have to give him a lot of credit for trying to play through the pain, especially with nothing on the line the past month or so.
"He's been dealing with it for a while,'' coach Peter Horachek said after Thursday's morning skate.
"He's been playing through it, taking therapy and medicine trying to keep it under wraps. It got to a point where something needed to be done. He had the appointment and now the surgery.
"When things happen you look at all the options. I think the doctors knew what it was. You can play through it, manage it a little bit. Sometimes it gets worse.''
-- The Panthers will wear their road white jerseys at home for the first time in a long time -- thinking pre-lockout in 2004 -- on Thursday as Carolina plays its final game of the season in their black alternates.
No one can give me a reason why Carolina is wearing those tonight although it was on their schedule since the beginning of the season.
I like the idea of wearing white at home with the opponent bringing in different colors each night. But that's just me.
-- Horachek says there has been improvement from some of Florida's injured players although no real update.
I don't expect to see Tomas Kopecky, Jonathan Huberdeau or Aleksander Barkov back in a game this season, although that could change. Horachek said he thinks Kopecky is about to start skating on his own, but with nine games left, I don't see it.