With less than a week till the Florida Panthers resume play after the Olympic break, a lot of decisions will have to come and they will have to be made quickly as the trade deadline approaches.
One of the few teams that are out of the playoff race, unless they go on a remarkable run – the Panthers will be picking high in the 2014 draft. Decisions will have to be made on whether to be buyers or sellers during the deadline or if they should hold fast on their players and give it everything they have the rest of the way.
General Manager Dale Tallon has said he does not want to blow up the team, even with ten pending unrestricted free agents that could fetch some return at the deadline. Players like Brad Boyes, Tom Gilbert, Tim Thomas and Marcel Goc could be hot commodities come early March, so is Tallon making the right decision?
The more important thing to ask is, if the Panthers decide to move one or more of those players – would Tallon get the return that he wants for his players? Is that why he is hesitant on pulling the gun on a trade or just plain blowing the team up?
Boyes is likely to be the biggest bait, as his 15-goals and 26-points could be welcomed as a secondary scoring option to a contending team, but would his return really be worth losing your second leading scorer and top goal getter?
Tim Thomas is the number-one goalie for Florida, but would be a backup for just about any contending team. With Jacob Markstrom still not looking like the starting goaltender you want him to be, do you trade the guy who has stood on his head for a mid-round (at-best) pick?
But what Florida (mainly Tallon) should realize is that every asset counts, every draft pick could be a potential contributor at the NHL level. If they stockpile enough picks, they could even move up in the draft to get a higher pick.
Tearing down a team is just as risky a move as buying at the deadline, give away too much without a return, you will stay stuck at the bottom – on the other side of the pillow, make the right trade and it can add a piece that leads to your turnaround.
What do you feel the Panthers should do? Should they sell the house, or ride it out with their current roster?
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