The news earlier this week of Anthony Duclair undergoing successful Achilles tendon surgery and subsequently being out until mid season of the 2022-23 campaign has certainly stung. Losing that speed and skill in the top six will be noticeable and could possibly shift the Panthers summer plans in terms of trades/signings.
I agree a lot with what Pro Hockey Rumors had to say in their recent article
The Cats have some things to shore up heading into this season and it starts with:
Adding Defensive Help
Broken record here, but this blue line is thin at best. With Chiarot and Hagg (who was barely used) probably on their way out with free agency, Florida’s defensive corps after Ekblad looks like this: Gudas, Weegar, Forsling, Montour. Both Weegar and Gudas are entering the final year of their deals, with Montour and Forsling contracts up ghe following year.
I don’t understand the logic of bringing in Lindbohm for his defensive-mind/shutdown ability, and then rarely using him. So maybe he gets a bigger role next year? But he is in no way the answer.
Per Jameson Olive, Zito has had “nice talks
” with both Weegar and Huby’s agents and “we’ll leave it at that.
Coming off a career year and seeing his counterpart in Barky get a 8-year, $80M deal this past season, I have no doubt Huby will be looking for something along the same lines.
Add to that the fact what some have pointed out with Huby’s agent monitoring the Gaudreau situation closely and wanting for his client the same or more of what Johnny Hockey gets (if he signs first).
Regular season Huby this past year is worth every penny. Postseason Huby…that’s another debate. No doubt the Cats should be taking this into consideration.
Anyway you slice it, the Panthers are definitely in a tough spot. With Florida having a little over $3M in cap space, they desperately need to shed some salary.
Like Pro Hockey Rumors says:
“This one certainly involves Bobrovsky but he won’t be the only trade candidate. As things stand, the Panthers have around $4MM in cap space for four or five players thanks to the new contracts for Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe and a $3MM increase in dead cap on Keith Yandle’s buyout. That’s doable but it would just be depth additions, not impact ones. If they want to add an impact piece or have a shot at re-signing someone like winger Mason Marchment (or Giroux, who will cost considerably more), they need to clear some salary.
Florida will get some short-term cap relief with Anthony Duclair starting the year on LTIR. However, since the winger is expected to return from his Achilles tear, they’ll need to have cap space to activate him midseason. That means they can utilize his LTIR to call up a player or two from the minors and carry a full roster but they won’t be able to spend that on a more prominent replacement.
Winger Patric Hornqvist ($5.3MM) and Gudas ($2.5MM) each have one year left on their contracts and have roles that can be filled by cheaper players so at least one of those two could be on the move to free up some cap flexibility. Hornqvist has an eight-team no-trade clause while Gudas doesn’t have any form of trade protection. Both players have played useful roles for the Panthers but the value of some extra cap space may very well outweigh the benefits of keeping one or both of them in the lineup for next season.“
Hey, one way to have saved some money would have been to sign Mamin and trade Marchy. They’re the same player and Mamin would be far cheaper. Just saying…
Zito is in a Dusty Rhodes spot:
I believe some hard decisions are going to be made and we might see a big move or two at the draft. Someone, or multiple guys, need to be moved, or walk (Giroux?), if they plan on keeping Huby and adding legitimate defensive help.
I don’t agree with moving Bob at this point. He found his form again and was the best guy in the playoffs. The only one to show up, actually. Besides, if they were to move him, they would probably have to eat half, if not more, of his contract and include a sweetener (maybe). Thanks to some of you guys for pointing that out a while back. I also don’t think Knight is ‘the guy’ yet.
You also have to take into consideration what types of players new head coach Paul Maurice looks for/wants.
I think this is going to be a very interesting next few days.
Full schedule released:
The Everglades have become the ECHL affiliate of the Panthers:
What moves do you guys want to see to help this team for the 2022-23 season?
With a depleted farm system and picks, Florida will have to be savvy. Could we see something as crazy as moving Knight if it means a team taking on some other players’ cap hit as well and the Cats getting space to bring in what they need? They would surely have to find a cheap backup then, but I think something has to give if this team is going to get over the hump. Unless they wait for the deadline and see where they’re at, which is more likely. I just like craziness at the draft. Haha.