Now that we have looked the upcoming unrestricted free agent class for the Florida Panthers, we can now look at the restricted free agents. We as the players who are about to become unrestricted free agents aren’t likely to be retained (or it would assume), the RFA class are a much more intriguing bunch.
By ways of two separate trades, the Panthers brought in both Hayes and Pirri from the Chicago Blackhawks and both made an impact that they could not make with their former team due to depth.
At 6’6 Hayes is a model forward for what Dale Tallon is trying to do in Florida, matching well with Nick Bjugstad (also 6’6) and Aleksander Barkov (6’3) – both players the two main building blocks for the Panthers.
In 53-games this season, Hayes scored 11-goals and showed he can be a wrecking force on the power play with his blend of size, speed and skill. Tallon already said he would tender an offer to Hayes as they will likely look to get a small ‘bridge’ contract done towards a potential longer term.
Pirri was brought in for one reason, his offensive playmaking ability. After winning the AHL scoring title last season, Pirri still couldn’t crack the NHL lineup for the Blackhawks on a consistent basis – but once he finally got his opportunity he took off.
In 49-NHL games last season, Pirri scored 25-points and was one of Florida’s most consistent scorers down the stretch.