RecallGate: egg on Panthers' face or whole lot of nothing?
Following up on a story reported by On Frozen Pond this weekend, the Florida Panthers evidently committed a bit of a snafu prior to Saturday's visit by the Pittsburgh Penguins: in essence, forward Patrick Rissmiller was reassigned to the Amerks, paving the way for a recall of Tim Kennedy, who was subsequently flown into Sunrise for the game. Standard procedure; seen it (seemingly) dozens of times over the course of the year, right?
Well yes, except Kennedy is required to pass through re-entry waivers. Queue up Kevin O of the Rochester D&C:
Apparently someone forgot about the re-entry procedure required for Kennedy. Or the Panthers just tried to pull a fast one, figuring the NHL wouldn’t care or pay attention to a team so far out of contention. But the NHL noticed and Kennedy was told he could select a seat in the stands to watch the Panthers play the Pittsburgh Penguins.
I’m pretty sure (Florida) just forgot.
The end result was an injured - and very unable to play - forward Shawn Matthias warming a spot on Peter DeBoer's bench equal in size or greater than the one currently occupied by third-string netminder Tyler Plante. In essence: both were dressed, and neither saw a second of ice time. Seriously, how often do you see these numbers in a completed boxscore?
An aside: though included in the above scoresheet - with zero TOI - his bench appearance does not count toward career stats nor obviously his game log. (I said "an aside", not "a strange aside".)
Such an episode is at the very least minimally embarrassing; extraordinarily difficult to believe - as Oklobzija proposed - the Cats attempted to either "pull a fast one" on the league or simply forgot about Kennedy's contract status. After all, once acquired from the Rangers in February, Panthers management waited to recall the guy until movement rules allowed for only a blatant - and utterly pointless - raid by another club. Thankfully, the Islanders were busy with other matters at the time.
Dale Tallon, Mike Santos, and a staff of paid professionals are in place to prevent such outcomes. So what the devil happened?