While Sidney Crosby
will make his long-awaited season debut Monday night, Panthers forward Mikael Samuelsson
is still waiting to make his debut with his new team.
At least Samuelsson is getting close.
The veteran, who won a Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2008, has been on injured reserve with a lower-body injury since he was acquired in the Oct. 22 trade that sent David Booth
But the hope is that Samuelsson could make his Panthers debut before the end of the month.
Samuelsson appeared in six games for Vancouver early in the season before he had a setback related to the sports hernia surgery he underwent in May.
"We're taking it really slow," Samuelsson said. "Obviously I've never done that before. I think I need that time. We're getting there. Give me one more week or something like that. I'll let the guys in there decide, the trainers."
The other veteran acquired in the Booth trade, forward Marco Sturm
, has 1 goal and 1 assist in 12 games with Florida.
After finishing with 50 points in 75 games for Vancouver last season, Samuelsson has 1 goal and 2 assists this season. He's looking forward to the opportunity of adding to that total.
"As long as I'm healthy when I get back, I'm good about it," Samuelsson said. "But I'm anxious to get going."