Panther fans won't see much of the new/old reds the first month of thte season. Photo Source: floridapanthers.com

What Will The Florida Panthers Look Like Next Season?


The Florida Panthers are going into next season in a very unique position to rebrand the entire franchise. After some shrewd moves by Dale Tallon in the offseason the Panthers are going into next season with $41,109,166 in cap space…the most wiggle room in the NHL… With only 11 players signed for next season.

The estimated cap upper limit is $64 million. The lower limit, or floor, will be around $48 million. This means the Panthers HAVE to spend at least $29,709,166 just to get to the cap floor to be eligible to play in the NHL next season.

This is cause for hope for every Florida Panthers fan. Finally a time in which we have maneuverability and aren’t weighed down by buy outs and bad contracts and have some freedom to make a real change in our franchise.

But…change does not usually come overnight. Dale is setting up for the future by getting the team in this position. Now before you think Tallon will run out and throw 15 million dollars a year at Stamkos or something crazy like that realize that this is not baseball…and such a big cap space does not mean we are the Yankees. We still have to resign some restricted free agents and do something about goaltending so some of the cap space will be taken up. Also, for the team to become competitive and remain competitive they can’t be at the cap ceiling (see Chicago Blakhawks)…so there will be some space left, Tallon won’t make that mistake again

Regardless lets look at what the Panther’s roster next season will look like so far…we will pretend that every restricted free agent is resigned with the exceptions of Bitz and Bernier because the Panthers have been pretty public about not bringing them back…that leaves us with…

Forwards:

David Booth- Stephen Weiss- Jack Skille

Rusty Olesz- Mike Santorelli- Nicolas Bergfors

Scott TimmonsShawn Matthies- Evgeny Dadonov

Unfilled – Unfilled- Unfilled

Defense:

Dmitry KulikovKeaton Ellerby

Mike Weaver- Jason Garrison

Unfilled – Unfilled

Goaltending:

Scott Clemensen

Unfilled

Now some of those roster spots could be taken by guys in the system like Repik, Howden, Jenks, Kennedy, McArdle or Gudbranson… but those guys would not satisfy the cap floor…thus we can safely assume the Dale Tallon will be working the phones to make trades and sign free agents next season.

So…who are some of the players you would like to see in a Panthers uniform next season?

Thanks for reading. Your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.

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

You can follow me on Twitter @joshluecht and the rest of the Rat Pack…Frank Rekas@TheRatTrick and David Lasseter @davidlasseter. Also, please join our Facebook Fan Pageand hit the like button.

Want The Rat Trick or another FanSided network blog on your IPhone, Android or Blackberry? Download the application now on your smartphone

 

Tags: Dale Tallon Florida Panthers Roster Evaluation