Center Vincent Trocheck is expected to have a number of family members at the BB&T Center for Friday's game against the Sabres as the 20-year-old makes his NHL debut.
The Panthers recalled Trocheck on Wednesday as he led San Antonio in scoring this season. Trocheck replaces Marcel Goc -- who was traded to Pittsburgh, Trocheck's hometown -- on Wednesday.
"I'm extremely excited,'' Trocheck said. "I got the call at 3:30, had to be on a plane by 6. I was there early, for sure. It's a dream come true, my goal since I was 5-years-old.''
Drew Shore was sent back to San Antonio despite playing well with the Panthers before and after the Olympic break.
"This gives Vinnie a chance to come up,'' coach Peter Horachek said. "There's a league rule about how many games you can play before you need waivers. He's done a good job, I like Drew Shore. From the first time he got called up, he approached it with a real professional attitude. He knew he was going to be a fourth liner, knew he would kill penalties. He did it with a passion and had an impact.''
PHOTO BY KELSEY HINDS/@Kelsey1344