The Trade Deadline has come and gone and the Florida Panthers were the most active team in the NHL, giving new meaning to the phrase Fire Sale.
It will remain to be seen how to measure all the moves that were made and gauge the returns, but one thing was made very clear. Dale Tallon is prepared to virtually start from scratch. I’m not going to use this time to analyze too much or break this down too much as that will come when we have more time. For now, this is what we did:
Clearly moves to dump salary and accumulate draft picks. The one move that I don’t like is getting Sergei Samsonov in return for Bryan Allen. This one makes me wonder as Tallon had Sergei in Chicago briefly, and he stunk up the joint, and was later traded as part of the Andrew Ladd deal. Samsonov is a free agent after this season, and I would be surprised if he’s resigned.
However it says that the rebuild is in full force with some work to do in the offseason. More trades could be made at that time as both David Booth and Stephen Weiss were the topics of discussion today. It’s very possible that the ground work for something else has been planned or at least talked about for the draft.
In addition today’s moves give Tallon the ability to spend money on free agents over the summer. The Panthers will have a lot of cap space to fill before next season, and it will be really interesting to see what we attract. That along with some of the youngsters in the minors who should be given a chance to prove their worth, we might actually see a solid young team with some vets sprinkled in next season.
The one move that wasn’t made, and I’m glad it wasn’t was the non trade of Marty Reasoner. He doesn’t knock your socks off, but he has come in and has done a fantastic job as a veteran. Hopefully he’s part of this next year.
While the overall feeling here is that we salary dumped and maybe waited a bit too long to make moves, here’s my take. We’ve been waiting for something similar to this for a few years. It didn’t happen last season, or the year before. We have been teasing ourselves with thoughts of making the playoffs and it just wasn’t going to happen this time either. If you’re not happy with this, then I don’t believe I can console you. Is the return what we wanted? Maybe not. But Dvorak and Higgins are free agents after this season. They could return, but most likely not. Wideman and Allen were killing the pocketbook. Of the two, I’m most disappointed about Allen leaving as young prospect Erik Gudbranson looked up to him. I’m sure we can find a suitable replacement mentor in the off season.
We should have a fun summer. If Dale spends the money right, and our young guys that we already have play to their abilities and we have another solid draft, we’ll look back on this day and say, “Remember the fire sale of 2011″?
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