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Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Panthers: Just What Can $30 Million Get You?

In a time where sports teams throw around millions of dollars like it’s nothing, it is easy to overlook Dale Tallon’s comments on what the team is going to spend this offseason.

On the first day of free agency last year, nearly half-a-billion dollars were committed to players. The New Yankees spent more than that on themselves in their offseason.

So when Tallon says he is going to have $30 million to spend to commit on the team this upcoming season, it might not seem that much.

But looking at how other team’s rosters are set up, the Florida Panthers are in position to put them way ahead of where their draft position might indicate they are at in rebuilding their team.

Remember who had the first overall pick last year? The same team who had home ice advantage in a playoff series. All thought they were ultimately eliminated in the first round; the Colorado Avalanche set a bench mark on how quickly teams can turn things around.

Want to know what an added $30 million can get you now-a-days? Here is a look at last year’s Stanley Cup winners – the Chicago Blackhawks – and some of their top player’s cap hit.

Patrick Kane
$6.300 million
Jonathan Toews$6.300 million
Brent Seabrook$5.800 million
Duncan Keith$5.538 million
Patrick Sharp$5.900 million
Total$29.838 million

So the answer to what $30 million can get you? There is your answer. Five elite level players that were significant contributors on their Stanley Cup team.

Imagine the current pieces Florida have, now imagine those pieces to go with those five players included above. Which do you think they’d be closer to, a playoff spot or the first overall pick?

I haven’t gotten too deep into this year’s free agent class, but what I have seen it doesn’t look possible to add five difference makers through free agency – certainly not the ‘sure thing’ those players are. But through trades, it is certainly possible to add a few.

Tallon drafted most of those players above, and has started his own young group of talented young players he hopes to build around, but for every Toews and Kane that were brought up in the system – there is an Andrew Ladd and Marian Hossa who was brought in from the outside.

In added my thoughts on the season past, and as well as a brief look at the future of the Panthers in a season recap article for Sens Shot – an Ottawa Senators blog on the same network as The Rat Trick – showing some optimism in how quickly things could get turned around, in which the editor did not share my view.

With money to spend, and knowing now what that money can spend – how is a quick turnaround too much of a reach?

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Tags: Dale Tallon Florida Panthers NHL Free Agency

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