Today is a big day for the Florida Panthers and teams all around the league. Everyone is doing all their last-minute scrambling to make sure they don’t lose a valuable asset. Some teams are working out deals with the Vegas Golden Knights to make sure certain players aren’t taken.
The Panthers decided to use the 4-4-1 format, meaning just 8 skaters and one goaltender being protected as opposed to 7-3-1. The reasoning seems to be not wanting to part with some of their younger defensemen such as Alex Petrovic and Mark Pysyk.
The players the Florida Panthers will be protecting from Vegas are…
The Golden Knights will most likely be selecting one of the players listed above, barring a trade is put in place by Wednesday. As there may have been some outrage about Jonathan Marchessault being left unprotected, there’s always two sides.
Yes he had a huge season, hitting the 30 goal mark wasn’t something we expected at all. However, if he continues that pace next season, extending him on another team friendly deal may not be possible.
It seemed to me the Panthers knew the commodity they had on their hands. That’s why they were willing to move him before the roster freeze just so they didn’t just lose him for nothing.
With that being said it seems Dale Tallon won’t make this an easy decision for Vegas either. He’s dangling some solid talent for them to choose from between vets like Jokinen, also a top 4 Defenseman in Demers.
Reilly Smith is someone who has played for Gerard Gallant as well and could be a possibility if the Golden Knights are trying to make the cap floor. Derek MacKenzie and Colton Sceviour are also options but less likely to be chosen for the obvious reasons.
We’ll have to stay tuned until Wednesday to see what exactly will happen. They won’t officially announce any of the Vegas trades within the next few days. Due to the roster freeze, teams can agree with the Golden Knights in principle on deals for now.
As for Dale Tallon’s strategy, I think it’s pretty clear how much he values the players he drafted. Also may have something to do with how “hands off” he was with some of last seasons moves. Mark Pysyk is the only one who defy’s those two theories and deservedly so, he was our best defenseman in 2016-17.