Among the many needs for the Florida Panthers is a puck moving defenseman that can drastically improve the league’s worst power play unit.
Finding these players by ways of trade and free agency is usually a rough way to go about this, as team’s who find good ones tend to do their best to hold on to them.
So that leaves grooming your own defensemen to man your power play. In the end, you know what you’re going to get because you developed that player yourself – and it is certainly cheaper in the end to keep your homegrown talent.
Even with Ian McCoshen and Mike Matheson in the system, we are still a few years away from seeing them lead the charge with the man advantage, so the Panthers will have to look for outside help until then.
They may have to overpay (FA route) or give up a little extra (trade) but risking next season by expecting every player that had a ‘down’ year to turn things around is just that – a big risk.
One option out there is Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green. The 28-year old Calgary native was one of the premiere scoring defenders in the league at one time, becoming one of eight defensemen to score 30-goals in a season.
Scoring 73-points (including 31-goals) in 68-games during the 2008-2009 season earned him a Norris Trophy nomination. He best that total the following year with 76-points before seeing a major dip in production when he couldn’t stay healthy.
In the years since his drop in points he has slowly regained his numbers but his defensive game has prevented him from reaching the level he was once was to the point where the Caps may be looking to unload the defender and his $6.083 cap hit.
Because of who is the new coach (Barry Trotz) and his emphasis on defense as well as their long need for a second line center to play behind Nicklas Backstrom, the Panthers have just the player for them.
Drew Shore certainly could fill that role one day, but hasn’t received the opportunity to reach his ceiling. The number of centers that the Panthers have ahead of him on the depth chart may prevent him from getting a fair opportunity to reach that ceiling.
I talked to the crew at Stars and Sticks, the Capitals’ blog on Fansided, and they said this about the possible return for Green,
“I think a center like Drew Shore and maybe a 3rd or 4th rounder would be a nice return for the Capitals. However, given their lack of defense, the Capitals would be wise to look for defense in return. Colby Robak and a 4th or 5th round draft pick would be a great fit for both teams. The Panthers improve their defense, the Capitals get a potential future top 4 defenseman”
Either of these trades could work out for the Panthers, all though with Green a pending UFA, I would ideally like to go the route of a late conditional pick that would bump up higher if the Panthers resign him.
What would your feelings be if the Panthers went through with this trade? How do you like the trades above or how would you alter them? Let us know below. A special thanks to the guys at Stars and Sticks for their help on this!