Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov will miss the next two games due to illness

The Florida Panthers will be without their captain as they travel to Western Canada.

According to Florida Hockey Now’s George Richards, Aleksander Barkov will stay in Florida as the Panthers hit the road to face the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames.

Richards added that Barkov could join the Panthers later on their journey. They play in Edmonton on Monday and Calgary on Tuesday, then travel to Vancouver to face the Canucks, Seattle to face the Kraken and Winnipeg to face the Jets before returning home on December 7.

Aleksi Heponiemi, the team’s second-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, will replace Barkov.Heponiemi has seven points in 16 AHL games this season and four points in 17 NHL games during his career.

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Barkov had a goal and two assists in Florida’s win over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, but sat out the team’s next game on Saturday, which saw the Panthers take a 3-0 lead and losing 5-4 in overtime to the St. Louis Blues.

In 19 games this season, Barkov has five goals and 18 points and is averaging 22:42 per game for the Panthers.

Last season’s Presidents’ Trophy winners got off to a bit of a slow start to 2022-23. The Panthers are 10-8-3 so far and currently hold no playoff spot in the highly competitive Eastern Conference.

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