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Panthers Place RW Kris Versteeg on IR

Team calls up Drew Shore from AHL San Antonio for depth, Versteeg's injury assumed to be minor

By David Hill
|  Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013  |  Updated 5:32 AM EDT
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The Florida Panthers placed RW Kris Versteeg on injured reserve Monday, three days after he hurt himself in the team's first official practice after the NHL lockout.

Versteeg underwent hip surgery after the end of last season, but the team told the Miami Herald that his injury is not related to the hip, calling it a precautionary move.

"We want to make sure, in case something happens since we're playing three games in four nights," Panthers general manager Dale Tallon told the Herald. "We're a little nicked up already. We need an extra body."

Ahead of back-to-back games on Monday and Tuesday (both losses) and with another game approaching on Thursday, the Panthers decided having an extra winger on the roster was the prudent move.

Versteeg was placed on IR retroactive to last Friday, meaning the earliest he can rejoining the team is this Friday, before the team's home game against Philadelphia on Saturday.

Last season Versteeg was the Panthers' third-leading scorer with 23 goals and 31 assists (54 points). He plays on the Panthers' first line with center Stephen Weiss and LW Thomas Fleischmann. The team bumped Mike Santorelli up to the first line in Versteeg's place on Saturday's season opener. Scottie Upshall was used on the first line Monday.

To fill Versteeg's roster spot, Florida called up 21-year-old Drew Shore from the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL. The rookie scored 50 goals in 123 games at the University of Denver over his last three college seasons, and he has 10 goals and 30 points in 41 games for San Antonio this season.

"He had a good camp, impressed our veteran guys," Tallon told the Herald. "He can play center or wing. He's a really good kid, a good player."

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