Mike Santorelli Photo Source: Zimbio.com

Panther’s Roster: Mike Santorelli

Mike Santorelli Photo Source: Zimbio.com

The Trade Deadline is February 28th at 3PM EST. What we’re doing everyday until then is do an honest roster break down of the current roster for the month of February. Today, we look at Mike Santorelli.

Santorelli was drafted by the Nashville Predators in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft in the sixth round (178 overall). The Vancouver, BC native then attended Northern Michigan University. After that, he signed an entry level contract with the Preds in July 2007.  He primarily played for Milwaukee of the American Hockey League (where he played with his brother, Mark) although, he did appear in 32 games with the big club over the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons.

Santorelli’s fortunes changed when Mike Santos was named assistant GM of the Florida Panthers on July 1, 2010. One month later, the Cats traded with Nashville to bring the center to Sunrise for a fifth round pick. After a strong preseason, Santorelli made the final roster and has continued to raise eyebrows since. Currently, he is tied for the team lead in goals with 15 (to go with 14 assists). His speed, his ability to make plays around  the net and his shootout skills have made him a fan favorite. While he is not exactly a great defensive center now, his speed and tenacity indicate that it is something he can improve on.

Currently, Santorelli is on a one year/$600,000 contract that runs out in July and will leave him as a restricted free agent. Based on his production this season, he is well deserving of a raise, which he will definitely get. The market for him in a trade is tough to read, should the Panthers fall out of contention. While he is a having a surprising season, it’s tough to say if GM’s would be more comfortable looking for a more experienced player. Personally, I think he’s a guy the team might want to keep around a little while longer to see if he can develop further which, at age 25, is a bit of a question mark.

What say you on Mike Santorelli?

Any and all comments are well appreciated! Thanks for reading!

Please visit our main NHL page: Too Many Men On The Site

Want to talk more hockey? Then you can follow The Rat Pack on Twitter! Me: @davidlasster, Frank Rekas: @TheRatTrick and Josh Luecht: @joshluecht. Also, please visit our Facebook Fan Page and like us! Share comments, photos, anything Panthers related!

Check out Fansided’s NHL podcast Rinkside Rants on Blog Talk Radio.

Want The Rat Trick or another FanSided network blog on your Iphone, Android or Blackberry? Download the application now on your smartphone and get the best in Florida Panthers coverage.

Tags: Florida Panthers Mike Santorelli Mike Santos Nashville Predators

  • slapshot1106

    There’s NO WAY he isn’t re-signed beyond this year. Unless some team absolutely knocks your socks off, then you can consider trading him. But he’s been a breath of fresh air to a team that has minimal talent, and is hard-pressed to attract quality free agents..

    I’m not saying he’s a top-line guy, but he is with this group.. So until we upgrade through drafting and developing, we need to hold onto the quality players we have. Even if Santorelli’s offensive numbers aren’t there, he offers PK and quality puck-possession, something this team desperately lacks…

    So they may as well just triple his $600k for at least 2-3 years. Worse case scenario he plays as a 3rd line CTR.. When you find a quality player for literally nothing in return, you need to retain them, build with them, give them leadership opportunities, and hold the rest of the dead-weight accountable…

  • SpellingDoesntCount

    You should probably proofread this again. I found 5 mistakes and had a difficult time reading it with all the grammar mistakes. Hard to take this article seriously from someone who can not even write one article coherently.

  • David Lasseter

    Spelling, you’re right. You caught me in a day where I was breaking in a new laptop on a lunch break. If you’re a first time visitor here, I can assure you it is the rare exception and not the rule around this site.

    Slapshot, you and I are of the same mind on this. He’s a big reason this team is even in a playoff race. I wouldn’t mind seeing him stick around for a few more years.

  • Bob

    Santorelli was a he’ll of a find and for what we paid to get him I hope they decide to keep him. After the last couple of seasons seeing our supposed big name players putting in about a 50% effort on any given night having a guy like him who gives 100% every night is a breath of fresh air. If this kid had a little more talent around him, who knows what he could produce.