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Star Panthers winger Todd Bertuzzi undergoes back surgery

He’s expected to be out six to eight weeks although Panthers head coach and GM Jacques Martin only said Thursday that the 31-year-old would be re-evaluated next week.

Bertuzzi hasn’t played since Oct. 18, receiving treatment and injections for a herniated disc but there was no improvement.

Bertuzzi, acquired from the Vancouver Canucks in the Roberto Luongo deal last June, has seven points (1-6) in seven games this season. He’s earning US$5.27 million and will be an unrestricted free agent July 1.

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The native of Sudbury, Ont., had 71 points (25-46) in 82 games with Vancouver last season, his seventh season with the Canucks. He has 224 goals and 312 assists in 717 career games with Florida, Vancouver and the New York Islanders.