In his third year with the Florida Panthers, we got what we’re used to seeing from Colton Sceviour.
He received a two-year deal with Florida after playing with the Dallas Stars for five seasons. The ideal plan would be to place him on the fourth line to play alongside lower-tier guys like Derek MacKenzie and eventually newcomers like Micheal Haley.
He had always been known to be the kind of player to go the extra mile and put in the extra work. He was no superstar, but he was a grinder, and that’s why the Panthers snagged him up.
In his first two seasons, Sceviour did just that, posting only 38 points in 126 games with the team. What the Panthers realized was so important about having him on the ice was what he contributed towards the defensive side of the game.
While playing a shutdown game with his linemates to agitate the other team’s stars, Sceviour also played a handful of minutes on the penalty kill. This might be where he had the most success, logging up a tremendous amount of minutes on the PK.
Playing alongside a killer like Vincent Trocheck, power-play goals were given up at a minimum, good enough for the second-best kill in the league. After showing what he could contribute to the team, the Cats realized that they weren’t ready to let Sceviour go just yet.
On February 12th, 2018, the Florida Panthers announced that they had signed Colton Sceviour to a three-year extension.
This signing made sense at the time, as the Cats felt they had the need to keep Sceviour on the ice for the defensive contributions he gave to the team on a nightly basis. But as the 2018-19 season came around, the Panthers started to think that their needs may have changed.
In an evolving NHL, the style of hockey that teams are playing has had some big changes in the past few years. As more superstars get drafted into the league and produce instantly, teams have trended towards playing more young guns on their team, giving veterans a smaller role on the ice.
For example, more physical, hard-working guys like MacKenzie and Haley are losing their jobs to guys who play primarily with skill and speed. This has led to teams putting rosters on the ice with one or no players who play with high physicality and low-speed kind of games.
This philosophy has risen up because of the failure of teams like the Los Angeles Kings, who have mostly slower, older guys.
Now, everyone wants to have a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs, who mostly have guys that only rely on their quickness and skill to win tons of games. This new method of roster development hurts older, less skilled players like Sceviour.
His role was no longer needed for the Cats, so now it’s time to dissect why Sceviour’s presence is no longer needed by the Florida Panthers and how he could possibly exit the Sunshine State.
To summarize it quickly, while he may be a hardworking winger to any team, he isn’t essential anymore to the Panthers because they need more roster space to play their skilled players.
With the Panthers possibly signing stars like Artemi Panarin in the offseason, they need more room to play their skilled and speedy forwards like Denis Malgin – who might move down to the fourth line.
In reality, Sceviour has to leave to let the Panthers assimilate into the new team building strategy of today’s NHL.
If they come to this realization and the Panthers want to get rid of Sceviour now, there are two ways to do it.
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One: they could buy out his contract and pay part of his salary every year. Or two: they could trade him to another organization so someone else would have to take care of him. Let’s take a look at how either of these two methods could be carried out in the summer.
If the Cats decide to buy him out, the rule is that they have to continue to pay Sceviour until the contract expires, but they would only have to pay two-thirds of it.
So, if they decide to head down that route, they would have to pay him $800,000 a year until the end of the 2020-21 season.
As well, the Panthers are planning on being very aggressive this offseason in terms of tweaking their team. This means that trading Sceviour may be the best option in terms of shipping him out.
Whether it’s shedding more cap space or taking back a contract in the range of Sceviour’s, trading him away may be the better option. However, whatever they decide to do, the Cats have some big decisions to make this offseason.
Whether the Florida Panthers think they need or don’t need Colton Sceviour anymore, they do have something to think about after his decent, yet injury-prone year on the ice.