It seems completely counter intuitive but the Florida Panthers may be surprise buyers at the upcoming April 3rd trade deadline. Wait what is that? The last place Panthers?… trade deadline buyers? Sitting in the basement of the Eastern Conference, logic would point to the Panthers as definite sellers and chances are when everything is said and done, the team will have moved at least a couple of their everyday players. There is however a report from hockeybuzz.com that the Panthers may want to take advantage of teams trying to dump salary. If this is in fact part of the Panthers deadline strategy, we could see the team pick up a number of players from these salary strapped teams.
Here is what Eklund of Hockey Buzz had to say about the Panthers:
“The Florida Panthers are everyone’s favorite seller…however, I am told Tallon is also looking to buy at this deadline moving forward..”
‘”This deadline will have another odd element to it,” one long trusted source added, “with the cap drop off we will see some teams dumping salary and Dale Tallon historically loves that situation.”‘
It is worth keeping in mind that this is merely a rumor and should not be looked at as cold fact. That being said, the Panthers are in an interesting situation. While the team has struggled this year, they are only one season removed from winning the Southeast division and with the young players the Panthers have coming through the system they have the look of a team that is closer to contending than a lot of people would think. Jacob Markstrom has proven himself to be at least a serviceable starting goaltender and many of Florida’s young players have acquitted themselves very well when given the opportunity this season.
GM Dale Tallon will more than likely try to move some of the players who are coming to the end of their Panther contracts but in addition to that, you can bet he will jump at the chance to bring in a veteran NHL player that can help the team moving if he comes across a good deal.
In the same report from Hockey Buzz, the Panthers were again named as a possible trade destination for Roberto Luongo. This rumor has been around forever and I still do not see it happening. While a trade to Florida would be a good fit for Luongo, he does spend his summers in South Florida, I do not see it as a good fit for the Panthers. They have numerous holes to fill on their roster and right now, and with Jacob Markstrom settling in at the NHL level I would not want to see the Panthers take on Luongo’s constrictive contract.
That’s all we have for now, keep in touch with the Rat Trick for all the latest Florida Panthers trade news.