By Angela Busch
Naples Daily News
Several former and possible future Blades have been competing hard these past few weeks at Florida Panthers camp. The Panthers are one of the Blades’ NHL affiliates and are expected to send down several prospects to play for the Blades this season.
Brine seemed to be making the biggest impact, scoring two goals and adding an assist during the rookie camp tournament and becoming the first among the former Blades to suit up for a Panthers preseason game, on Sunday.
“I’m getting older, and I think I’m definitely getting better each year,” Brine said last week, before leaving rookie camp.
He did well in his first preseason game against the Calgary Flames, playing four minutes and 20 seconds on eight shifts and adding a blocked shot in the first period. Unfortunately, though, Brine injured his thumb during the action and did not return to the game. He was sent back to Fort Lauderdale for X-rays and to see team doctors afterward, but the injury is not expected to be serious.
MacDonald and Tuma saw extensive action in Monday night’s preseason game against the Edmonton Oilers. Tuma played more than 23 minutes in 27 shifts, and MacDonald was in for more than 13 minutes in 21 shifts.
Another former Everblade, Drew Larman, played 9:38 in 12 shifts.
Playing time during the preseason will likely bode well for MacDonald, Tuma and Brine, who are all hoping to gain permanent roles with the AHL’s Rochester Americans this season — the Amerks are the Panthers’ affiliate in the AHL, which is the top minor league.
It also appears that Tuma has healed well from a severed tendon sustained last April, when he was playing with the Rochester Americans in the AHL playoffs, and an opponent’s skate cut him on the arm. He went through physical therapy all summer and was just recently cleared for contact.