Panthers’ Bergenheim Close To Returning

Source: David J. Neal, Miami Herald

Panthers_Sean_Bergenheim_2013The last time forward Sean Bergenheim played in a Florida Panthers game, LeBron James didn’t own his first NBA title and Tuesday night’s Panthers opponent, Chicago, owned only its first Stanley Cup since 1961.

In those 18 months, the James-led Heat won two NBA titles, Chicago won last year’s Stanley Cup and Bergenheim won a grievance against the Panthers after proving his hip and abdominal injuries came from before the 2012-13 lockout. Bergenheim got green, as in a full year’s salary. He’d rather have had ice. The end of the 2012 season ended the best two-year stretch of Bergenheim’s NHL career.

“The whole last year and a half I haven’t been playing has been extremely, extremely tough,” Bergenheim said after Monday’s practice, his first since returning from physical therapy in Toronto. “I’m a hockey player and hockey player the whole time here doing rehab and working far more hours than I would be [if I were] playing. It’s been extremely tough, the whole road. For a hockey player to not to be playing, it’s a bad feeling.