Florida Panthers: What Troy Brouwer’s PTO Means For All Parties Alike

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 07: Florida Panthers right wing Troy Brouwer (22) looks to pass during a game between the Boston Bruins and the Florida Panthers on March 7, 2019, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MARCH 07: Florida Panthers right wing Troy Brouwer (22) looks to pass during a game between the Boston Bruins and the Florida Panthers on March 7, 2019, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Just recently, the Florida Panthers have decided to extend a PTO offer to forward Troy Brouwer, who will compete for a roster spot in the coming weeks.

The news was announced yesterday, per the team’s PR Twitter page. Troy Brouwer, who spent last season with the Florida Panthers, is now returning on a PTO basis, with a chance of making the roster for the upcoming 2019-20 season.

With the Cats last year, Brouwer participated in 75 contests, recording 12G, 9A, for 21 points, while playing on the team’s fourth line.

He was brought in to provide more veteran leadership to the group, as well as spark some production on the bottom line. While he provided a bit of both, the team is constructed differently this year, with hopes of reaching the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Taking that all into consideration, it leads us to this main question: should the Panthers even bother with Troy Brouwer?

Hypothetically speaking, if Brouwer was to impress at training camp and make the opening night lineup, he would be competing throughout the course of the season at age 34.

At this current moment, it really goes without saying that Brouwer is already at the tail end of his career and at best, a bottom-line player.

Sure, he managed to produce a little more offensively than former bottom liners Micheal Haley and Derek MacKenzie, but in all fairness, the two shouldn’t be used as a production benchmark.

We may sound like broken records by saying this but this is the year where the Panthers have to make the playoffs, especially after the necessary player and personnel changes were made.

The team is at the point where they can’t have any passengers at any position and need everyone to pull their respective weight to make this work.

But back to Brouwer, do the Panthers need his presence to navigate their way into the playoffs? The quick and simple answer to the question is no, they don’t need Brouwer on the roster, and there are plenty of others who can play in his role and provide more value/the same veteran leadership.

The Panthers already have Colton Sceviour (age 30) and Noel Acciari (age 27) who will supply more offensively and offer up the same level of veteran presence. That leaves one position open (on the wing) that is up for grabs.

Does having that open vacancy being filled by Brouwer even make sense, especially when you have Jayce Hawryluk who is just deserving of the same role?

Think, the Panthers already have two veterans on their fourth in Sceviour and Acciari and would be adding a third if Brouwer makes the cut. How does having three veterans on a bottom line make any sense from a production standpoint?

At what point do you have enough veteran leadership? Having two is already more than enough, considering the need for having at least one youngster out there performing more of the manual labor (grinding, forechecking, etc.).

Hawryluk already showed last year that he can handle a full-time role at the NHL level, whether it be on the third or fourth line. The Panthers are better off having him on the ice than Troy Brouwer, and benefit more from his presence than Brouwer’s.

Of course, he too will have to compete at camp for a spot just like everyone else, but his play – especially from last season – shouldn’t go unnoticed when constructing the team.

Now, I don’t have a problem with the Panthers handing Brouwer a PTO invitation, precisely because it will create healthy competition in training camp for one of the bottom-six spots.

Dale Tallon, who knows Troy Brouwer very well (both in Florida and Chicago), sees this as something that will push the youngsters to perform to their best, with something at stake.

Make no mistake, though, head coach Joel Quenneville surely has some say in this and has always been a fan of Brouwer and his game. He, as well, circled with Tallon to ensure that Brouwer was invited to camp.

If Brouwer genuinely beats out the rest for a spot on the roster, then all credit towards him for pulling it off. But realistically, I don’t see this happening with all the bottom-six depth the Panthers own.

Ideally, the Panthers have more than enough experience on their bottom line in the aforementioned Sceviour and Acciari. Adding a third veteran to the line would be a head-scratcher, considering the need for at least one younger player, such as Hawryluk (23), Hunt (23), or Greco (25).

Next. Does Aleksi Heponiemi Make the Jump this Season?. dark

In the end, bringing in Troy Brouwer for the purpose of a tryout is something that should be welcomed and not shutdown. However, the Cats are moving into a different direction and one that Brouwer doesn’t fit. There are more than enough options to choose from internally to fill that wing spot on the bottom line with a younger, cheaper, and more skilled guy. Troy Brouwer isn’t that and doesn’t fit the criteria that Florida should be looking for.