|Florida Panthers right winger Nathan Horton, center, celebrates his first-period goal with center Stephen Weiss, left, and left winger Michael Frolik, of the Czech Republic, during an NHL hockey game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) |
Florida Panthers GM Randy Sexton announced today that RW Nathan Horton suffered a fractured tibia and will be out at least four weeks.
"There's never a good time for this type of injury, especially this time of year," said Sexton. "But it's an opportunity for other guys to step up and show that they belong and carry some of the offensive load." HORTON SPEAKS ON INJURY
"That's today's NHL everyone's dealing with," said head coach Peter DeBoer on Horton's injury. "To have him and Booth on the sidelines means we're going to have to really be good defensively and get contributions from some other people.
"The nice thing, I guess the silver lining, is that a couple of the four-five weeks he'll be out will be the Olympic break so that helps a little bit as far as number of games missed."
Horton suffered the injury when he was hit by a puck late in the third period in the Panthers 2-1 shootout loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday, Jan. 21.
"You don't want to take your leading scorer out of the lineup," said Sexton. "I think our guys have done a great job staying close and there's an opportunity for somebody else to step up and take the bull by the horns and lead our team.
"I think Nate will be back as quickly as he can possibly be back."
Horton has been the Panthers leading scorer this season with 46 points in 51 games (17-29-46). His 29 assists and 46 points had him tied for 24th in the league going into Saturday's games.