Hertl was activated before Friday night's game against Colorado. Hertl was injured in a knee-to-knee collision with Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown on Dec. 19 at Staples Center. He had surgery on Dec. 31 to repair the posterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments and has been skating with the team in recent weeks.
Hertl's return provides a big boost before the playoffs begin next week against the Kings. The 20-year-old Hertl was a strong Calder Trophy candidate with 15 goals and 10 assists in his first 35 games, including a four-goal performance against the New York Rangers in his third game.
We're buyers. We're committed to winning. That's what [owner Vinnie Viola] has said all along and what we've said all along. We want to win. We want to win a championship. We're putting the pieces together, step by step, and we're hopeful that Jaromir can lead these young guys to the promised land. It's a win-win for us.
— Panthers GM Dale Tallon on Jaromir Jagr, who he traded for from the Devils on Thursday