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Florida Panthers send F Rocco Grimaldi to San Antonio Rampage

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With several injured forwards possible to return to Florida's lineup in coming days, Cats send impressive rookie back to the Rampage after 4-game NHL audition.

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From the club:

SUNRISE, Fla. – Florida Panthers Executive Vice-President and General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the club has reassigned F Rocco Grimaldi to San Antonio (AHL).

Grimaldi, 21, made his National Hockey League debut with the Panthers on Nov. 1, against the Philadelphia Flyers. He appeared in four games with Florida, averaging 12:14 TOI with 10 shots on goal. The Rossmoor, California, native has played in eight games with San Antonio this season, recording three goals with one assist and four penalty minutes.

Grimaldi was drafted by Florida in the second round (33rd overall) in the 2011 NHL Draft.

Going completely old-school here: he also departs with a minus-1 in those four appearances, which includes a team goal differential of minus-5 in the last two matches alone, hence my use of the word "impressive". As well, chalk him up for 15:29 TOI and 3 shots in 22 shifts during Saturday's 6-4 home loss vs Calgary (he finished with an "even" rating).

For history's sake, Grimaldi notched 75 points (30G) in 85 games over his past two seasons at UND, the second of which ended in 2014. Not like he'll be forgotten in a week.

Love it or hate it, the move comes in anticipation of a return to the lineup by recently benched goal-free forward Tomas Fleischmann (1A in 11 games), and potentially such walking wounded as Sean Bergenheim, Dave Bolland and (yep, it's come to this) Brandon Pirri.

However all of that unfolds, there's not much question the Panthers will be looking in Rocco's direction for additional depth from time to time throughout the season. Just ask Tuukka:

Yeah, he'll be back.

Florida hosts San Jose Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET.