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|25 сентября 2001
Concussion major setback to Shvidki // South Florida Sun - Sentinel.
Right wing Denis Shvidki didn't lose consciousness after being checked along the boards by Bruins defenseman Kyle McLaren on Saturday night, but he may have lost his job.
Shvidki, who seemed to be on the positive side of the bubble to make the Panthers' 23-man roster, suffered a concussion as the 6- foot-4, 230-pound McLaren sent his head into the Plexiglas. After Monday morning's practice at the National Car Rental Center -- Shvidki sat out -- coach Duane Sutter was somber in describing the 20- year-old Ukrainian's condition.
"It's going to be a while," Sutter said. "He didn't test out well ... neuro tests. I don't want to set a time frame on it."
With the roster at 29, six cuts must be made before the Oct. 4 opener at Philadelphia. Shvidki, who had six goals and 10 assists in 43 games of a disjointed rookie season last year (shuttled back and forth from Louisville), was in the mix to play on any of the first three lines.
"He was battling for a job," Sutter said. "Now it's certainly going to set him back and open the door for someone else to take the spot. ... He'll have to battle like hell to get back."
High-scoring European prospects Kristian Huselius and Niklas Hagman (three goals in three preseason games), and Marcus Nilson, who started alongside Pavel Bure last year, will continue to compete for the remaining top-gun slots.
So will Ivan Novoseltsev, the team's all-time top preseason scorer, who hasn't impressed Sutter with his defensive skills.
"It could be a very difficult situation for [Novoseltsev] if he doesn't prove himself as a solid defensive and team performer," Sutter said recently. "Shvidki is a different story. He likes to grind, and he plays a solid enough defensive game that he can play the third line if he doesn't play the first or second."
It appears Shvidki, Florida's first pick (12th overall) in the 1999 draft, will have wait for another opportunity after recovery and a rehab stint in the minors.
Left wing Peter Worrell continues to be sidelined by a groin pull but is expected to skate today.
Sutter said Worrell will not play against Ottawa on Wednesday night in Grand Rapids, Mich., but hopes to have him back for one or both of the Tampa Bay games this weekend.
Sutter wants to see more from the team's perennial leader in penalty minutes:
"[I don't know] how big of a role he's ready to take on this team as far as ice time is concerned. He has been good but hasn't shown me enough to take more ice time. That's a stronger reason I hope he's back in the lineup by the weekend."
Sutter said that Worrell, who could team with Ryan Johnson and rugged Jason Wiemer to form a physical defensive line, needs to be more consistent.
"He's got to be reliable defensively," Sutter said. "Reliability could also be termed consistent. If he's playing with the top line, your mind can't wander on any part of a shift. You got to be mentally sharp to play with the top line.
"He has got to understand his role. He's not out there to handle the puck. He's out there to crash the net and work the boards. If anyone wants to mess around, then you've got to look after business."
Rookie defenseman Lukas Krajicek, who bruised his shoulder Saturday, was back on the ice Monday. ...
The trading moratorium begins today at 2 p.m. and lasts until Friday's waiver draft, when teams must turn in their lists of exposed players.
Harvey Fialkov can be reached at email@example.com.