Zito has made a blockbuster move that not only surprised the hockey world but is sure to divide the Florida Panthers fan base.
I was catching Z’s when the story broke. Waking up this morning, like most people, I grabbed my phone and as I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, I was instantly woken up after reading the many texts from my buddies about the trade.
Both CGY and FLA benefit from this deal. The Flames backfill a bit with Huby after losing JG and MT. Florida backfills Huby’s vacancy with a younger forward that brings a game this team needs and at probably a bit cheaper deal than why Huby will be looking to get on his next contract - though Tkachuk’s terms are still a bit scary.
Regardless, I really like the trade.
It was time for a shakeup/change like this in my option. As much as I like Huby and his regular season heroics, he and this core are not the ones who are going to get it done. Not to mention he’s getting older and he will be looking for a monster contract after next season.
When it comes to Weegar…I see a guy who might need a change of scenery. I’m a fan and hope he finds his game, but after stepping up and becoming what I thought was going to be an anchor on the blueline a couple seasons back, he can just as quickly take a step back. I think a lot of it is mental with him and in an effort to make up for it, he made a lot of blunders this past season - despite hitting career highs (which was a strange paradox). He will also be looking for a sizable deal after the upcoming season
Cole Schwindt is described as the below by Litter Box Cats:
“Schwindt is an intriguing, well-rounded, versatile two-way forward who is solid in all three zones. He has a good frame, is physical and possesses all of the intangibles needed to be a NHL level player, despite some concerns about his skating.”
Like every prospect, it’s 50/50 he will crack an NHL roster and become a regular contributor.
The last part of the package heading to Calgary is Florida’s lottery-protected first-round pick in the 2025 draft. This might be the portion of the deal that angers most Cats fans. Losing firsts sucks. But I don’t know…in my mind that’s three years away. Florida has plenty of time to wheel and deal to recoup some higher picks.
Think about the trade at a high level:
: young, physical winger with snarl and scoring ability
Conditional 4th Round Pick 2025
: aging (but only 30), talented forward, disappears in postseason, will be looking for a big contract
: has ability to be solid, tries to do too much at times and causes blunders, will be looking for a sizable contract
: a prospect that may or may not pan out
1st Round Pick
While the Panthers get that sorely needed combo of grit/edge/talent added to the forward ranks with Tkachuk, one has to wonder what happens on the backend now? Florida needs defensemen and they just lost one in the Calgary trade. So what’s the plan there? Might have to wait a season for Yandle’s contract to come off the books and/or continue trying to orchestrate a Bob deal - though I like him a lot, that deal is such a killer…
I have seen mixed feelings from Calgary fans about Tkachuk. I can’t wait to see him in a Cats sweater! Similar things were said about Bennett and I like how he’s fit into this roster.
Would love to have some Flames fans chime in on Tkachuk, as they have great insight watching him over the years. And we can provide to them with insight on Huby and Weegar. A little knowledge transfer is always a good thing.
Hockey season can’t start soon enough…Go Panthers!
I know Huby was a beloved cat and many thought he would be in south Florida for life, but it’s surprising seeing all the negative comments from Panthers fans.