After realizing that he no longer has relevance to the team, forward Micheal Haley was placed on waivers and finally let go by the Florida Panthers.
On June 1st, 2017, the Florida Panthers signed a player to their roster that they thought would contribute to the success of the team.
This player is known as Micheal Haley, who’s known only on the ice for how he uses his fists, not his hockey stick. They wanted a guy who can stick up for the star players and intimidate the opposition, and that’s all they got.
His first season with the Cats was mediocre (at best), as he did his job that he was originally assigned. He dropped the gloves, threw players down, and gave room for the superstars of the team.
It was as if he was viewed as this bodyguard that would keep teenagers out of a bar. While he may have done his job, the never-ending change to the game of hockey caught up with him and sort of ‘outlawed’ his playing style.
In the following season, things started to look a little different for the Panthers. They added a big gun to the forward group in Mike Hoffman, limiting the number of available spots up front.
In today’s NHL, the game is shifting away from a gritty, fight-first mentality, to one that’s more kid-friendly. This means that instead of the game being physical (as it once was), everything is now about speed.
Teams have been trending towards building fast teams that supply primarily offense, throwing guys like Haley under the bus. As this ideology becomes more prevalent around the league every day, more enforcers around the league are losing their jobs.
This season, Haley started out away from the team after being admitted to the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program.
This took Haley off the ice for a long period of time, leaving other players with plenty of time to steal his fourth-line role. This was absorbed by guys like Colton Sceviour, Troy Brouwer, Jamie McGinn, among others. Without his control, Haley seemingly lost his spot on the ice.
Once he returned to the ice, his playing time was extremely limited. He was battling night in and night out with guys who provided something that Haley couldn’t: skill.
Haley wasn’t a player who had really any skill that didn’t involve fighting, so he would become completely useless. While he had the rare point on the scoresheet, it was mostly healthy scratches for the remainder of the year.
The enforcer no longer had his services needed by the Panthers, so it basically meant there was no place for him in South Florida. After being placed on waivers, he returned to his former team as he was picked up by the San Jose Sharks.
His time with the Panthers was finally over, and many rejoiced over the ending relationship. Even though he could’ve been essential a few seasons ago, there are many reasons why Haley didn’t fit in Florida and why his departure couldn’t have come sooner.
For starters, the intimidation factor of hockey has begun to dissolve in recent time. Instead of wanting hard-working goons, teams seemed to only want players on their roster that can supply some sort of offensive impact on the ice.
This trend has spread across the league like wildfire, putting unskilled players like Haley in the unemployment sector.
As well, along with the popular method of only playing skilled players, the argument arises that whenever Haley’s in the lineup, the experience and playing time of future prospects is limited.
While this point has always been made by fans across the league, it seems that Panthers fans had enough of Micheal Haley taking up a fourth-line spot.
All in all, after realizing what a waste he was to keep, the Florida Panthers put forward Micheal Haley on waivers, ending his career in South Florida.