|Netminder Scott Clemmensen underwent minor kneww surgery, leaving a spot on the opening night roster for one of the young netminders. (Getty Images)
The Florida Panthers announced that goalie Scott Clemmensen
underwent minor surgery on his knee this morning at Doctors Hospital in Miami. In his talk with the media following practice, Panthers Head Coach Kevin Dineen reiterated that Clemmensen's surgery was a minor procedure and he's "very encouraged that [Clemmensen] is going to come back 100 percent healthy."
As for the time frame on Clemmensen's return, Dineen said "it could be anywhere up to a month" but admitted it was too early to have a clear timetable for the goalie's return to net.
"We think very highly of all the goaltenders in our organization and that's why losing Clemmer is a tough deal for us," said Dineen. "He's worked hard all summer and I know he's disappointed right now, but I know that the month of October will slide right by and he'll be back before we know it."
In confirming that Clemmensen's procedure was not on the knee he had surgery on earlier this year, Dineen noted that he himself just underwent the same procedure and he is already back on the ice for training camp.
"I had the same surgery three weeks ago. It was something, I was playing a lot of tennis and with the constant pounding, I needed a little cleaning up and I'm back on skates."
As for the suddenly-open, back-up goalie spot behind Jose Theodore
, Dineen welcomes the challenge for some of the Cats' young goalies.
"I look at it as Mr. Opportunity is knocking on the door," said Dineen. "That opportunity will be given to [Tyler Plante] and [Jacob Markstrom
] to scratch and claw and try to earn that right to stay here with the Panthers for the next stretch."
Markstrom and Plante both have the same mindset for the new opportunity that has presented itself.
"I want to play here; that's why I'm here," said Markstrom. When asked if there is a more immediate feeling to make the roster with Clemmensen's injury, he added, "Not really. I just went out there today to try to practice, try to focus and take it day-by-day."
"I don't think it changes anyone's mindset here at all," said Plante. "Whether spots are taken or not, every player comes to camp every year with the hopes and aspirations of playing for the big club. Everyone in this room has the same dreams so you just have to stay focused and take it day-by-day.
"Every day you're here is another special day. You work hard all summer to stay here as long as you possibly can. So, every day you're not getting a plane ticket down [to the AHL] is a day with a smile on your face."