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Knee surgery possible for Panthers' prospect?

by Adam Kimelman
Florida Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon already is considering what he might do with goaltender Tomas Vokoun leading to the trade deadline. He has a little more to think about now that top goaltending prospect Jacob Markstrom might need knee surgery.

Markstrom, the 31st pick of the 2008 Entry Draft and considered one of the top goaltending prospects in the League.

According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Markstrom injured his knee during a game Saturday, playing for the club's AHL team, the Rochester Americans. The newspaper is reporting Panthers doctors could know whether Markstrom needs surgery by Thursday.

In 37 AHL games, Markstrom is 16-20-1, with a 2.98 goals-against average and .907 save percentage. He played his first NHL game Jan. 23, replacing Scott Clemmensen for the final two periods of a game against the New Jersey Devils. He allowed two goals on 14 shots and suffered the loss in a 5-2 Panthers defeat.

Vokoun is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after the season, and with the Panthers 2-4-4 in their last 10 games, 11th in the Eastern Conference and seven points out of a playoff spot, Tallon is debating whether he should move Vokoun for future help or keep him and make a run for a playoff spot.

If Tallon elects to move Vokoun, Markstrom likely would have been the organization's top choice to share time with Clemmensen.

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