How much cap space will the Florida Panthers have in the 2024 NHL offseason?

The Florida Panthers are a team with a ton of talent, so could they improve their outlook even more in the 2024 NHL offseason?

Florida Panthers v Montreal Canadiens
Florida Panthers v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

The Florida Panthers are one of the NHL’s premier teams, and the goal down in Sunrise should be to keep the window of opportunity open for as long as possible. One way to do that is to keep as much of their core together as possible, and the Panthers have a lot of pending unrestricted free agents they may want to bring back for next season and beyond. 

One of those players is Sam Reinhart, who they acquired in a blockbuster deal a few years back from the Buffalo Sabres. Other notable players include Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Brandon Montour, and even the potential rental in Vladimir Tarasenko, should they look to find a way to keep him in Florida. 

Ultimately, cap space will decide if the Panthers can keep their most important players together and, if so, whether they have enough in them to add any sound talent they feel can fit their current system. Currently, Florida sits in the middle of the league at 16th overall with $19.636 million in cap space, which would make it tough to re-sign all of the above players mentioned, especially if someone like Reinhart wanted more money. 

Florida Panthers could be constrained in cap space for the 2024 NHL offseason

Given the number of pending unrestricted free agents and the big names included, general manager Bill Zito has no choice but to pull off some epic transactions to create space. That said, this isn’t saying Zito won’t be in position to bring Reinhart and others back on new deals, but that probably won’t be the case as things currently stand. 

If Zito manages to keep most, if not all, of this winning core intact - not counting the newcomers at the trade deadline like Tarasenko - it shouldn’t surprise fans or critics. There’s a reason Zito has built a winning club, one that has since become a perennial playoff contender. It will be a challenge, but nothing he can’t handle.