March 9, 2012; Pittsburgh,PA, USA: Florida Panthers left wing Marco Sturm (16) leaps over Pittsburgh Penguins defender Ben Lovejoy (bottom) as Sturm chases a loose puck during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USPRESSWIRE

Florida Panthers Player Rating: Marco Sturm

With the 2011-12 season sadly in the rear-view window, it’s once again time for The Rat Trick to take a look back at those who had the biggest impact on the the Florida Panthers. Over the coming days, we’ll look at review everyone who had key roles in the past season and give them the dreaded letter grade.

The David Booth trade was controversial when it happened in October and it is still controversial today.  Many Panther fans had fallen in love with Booth’s mad rushes up the left wing and his long, flowing, blonde hair.  Even after Booth lost his explosiveness after the Mike Richards hit and concussion, he still was considered a fan favorite on the team.  So when Dale Tallon determined that he had fallen out of love with Booth’s game, he dealt the American forward for two veterans from Vancouver.

One, Mikael Samuelsson, had a decent year for the Panthers, showing productivity on the second line.  The other, Marco Sturm, mostly struggled.  His stats are as follows:

Games Played: 42
Goals: 3
Assists: 2
Points: 5
PIM: 23
Hits: 46
Blocked Shots: 12

Sturm’s entire 2011-2012 year could be marked as a disappointment for him.  He struggled to find his groove in Vancouver, and only less than one month into the season he was shipped to Sunrise.  There, he proved that his durability had been worn down over the years.  With the Panthers, Sturm suffered a leg injury, a concussion, a groin injury, and underwent knee surgery.

When it came to his on-ice performance, Sturm never seemed to look all that healthy or mobile.  Coach Kevin Dineen often used him on the penalty kill, where he contributed the most on the team.  He wasn’t all that fancy, but he was mostly controlled and dependable in this role.  Our PK was mostly average, so to say that Sturm excelled in this role would be an exaggeration.

Offensively, there was just nothing there.  Sturm hardly looked like the consistent 20-goal scorer from years past, as his scoring touch was just nonexistent.  Forget even burying chances, Sturm could hardly create them.  It was his lack of offensive explosiveness that kept Sturm so far down on the Panthers lines.

But I assume that Sturm had some positives behind the scenes, to balance out the negatives.  He is a wily veteran, as they are called, and his locker room presence might have helped the team going down the stretch.

Final grade: D

Sturm’s contribution to the team could have been helped if he wasn’t so constantly injured, but as it stands he was a pretty big disappointment.  Considering what we wanted to get in return for David Booth, I think Dale tallon might be a little disappointed.  Don’t expect him to be back next year for the Panthers.

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Tags: David Booth Marco Sturm

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