Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Panthers: Trade For For First Overall Pick In Place?

After speculating potential trades, we have our first concrete potential trade that could be ‘on the table’ between the Florida Panthers and the Toronto Maple Leafs – which would involve the first overall pick as well as the captains of the two respective teams.

In the proposed trade, the Maple Leafs would receive the first overall pick as well as Ed Jovanovski – the first overall pick in the 1994 NHL Draft by the Panthers. In return, the Panthers would receive the eighth overall pick, as well as the Maple Leaf’s captain Dion Phaneuf and former first round pick Nazem Kadri.

It has been long known, and tiredly overstated that the Panthers are looking to move back in the draft, more than likely to select either William Nylander or Nikolaj Ehlers whose dynamic playmaking ability could slot in perfectly behind Aleksander Barkov, Nick Bjugstad and Kadri?

I have been a big fan of Kadri’s skill, and still believe he can become a dynamic playmaker in this league – it just wasn’t going to happen in Toronto. But can we really expect it to happen in Florida? A city that it going through more changes than his hometown team could just as easy take the pressure off of the 23-year old center.

The Phaneuf part of the pie has me worried. Though an amazing talent, Phaneuf can be a pylon at times playing defense and hurt Toronto with his undisciplined hits, and was voted as the league’s most ‘overrated’ player in the league in 2012 by TSN.

Both players more than certainly fill needs for the Panthers, and adding someone like Kadri could make players like Drew Shore and Vincent Trocheck expandable but would this really make the team better in the long run?

Phaneuf’s big contract ($7 million cap hit through 2021) would essentially replace Brian Campbell’s contract after this season, and they would have over $14 million tied into the two defensemen this year alone.

Kadri will be a restricted free agent next season and will need a new contract along with Jonathan Huberdeau and Bjugstad, which could get costly if they all continue to progress (they would then need to re-up Barkov the following year as well).

The Panthers would have to depart with Jovanovski, who was speculated on his way out regardless – whether it is by retirement, trade or buyout. Moving him would free up over $4 million in cap room (that would end up being used by Phaneuf’s contract).

How would you feel if the Panthers went through with this trade? Would they get better long term with the trade? Or do you still believe the Panthers should hold onto the first overall pick? Let us know in the comment section.

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Tags: Aleksander Barkov Dion Phaneuf Florida Panthers Nazem Kadri Nick Bjugstad

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