Skip to main content

Florida Panthers Could Be Major Players at NHL Trade Deadline

The Panthers emerged last season among the NHL's top teams. They've proven that performance was no fluke again this year. Are they in "go-for-it mode" right now?
USATSI_17489210

The Florida Panthers emerged last season among the NHL's top teams. They've proven that performance was no fluke as they're currently jockeying with several clubs (including their cross-state rival, the Tampa Bay Lightning) for first place in the Eastern Conference.

Despite the Panthers' improvement, they remain overshadowed by the Lightning. Challenging the dominance of the defending Stanley Cup champions would improve their visibility among NHL fans while stoking a serious hockey rivalry in Florida.

Florida Hockey Now's George Richards believes the Panthers are in “go-for-it mode” and will be players at the March 21 trade deadline. He observed general manager Bill Zito has proven willing to wheel-and-deal during his 16 months on the job.

Richards pointed out Zito focused on upgrading the Panthers' blueline corps since arriving in Sunrise. He and his staff have reportedly discussed whether they'll make a pitch for Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot. Richards included the Arizona Coyotes' Jakob Chychrun, Dallas Stars' John Klingberg, Seattle Kraken's Mark Giordano and the Detroit Red Wings' Nick Leddy among Zito's possible trade targets.

Cap Friendly shows the Panthers with $3.72 million in projected cap space. Zito will have to convince one of those potential trade partners to retain some salary or he'll have to make a cost-cutting move or two. The Panthers lack first and second-round picks in this year's draft to offer up as trade bait but they still have those picks in the 2023 draft.

Zito could also attempt to his forward lines. TSN's Darren Dreger reports the Panthers are believed among the top-three clubs linked to former San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane. 

TOP HEADLINES

Carey Price

Report: Carey Price May Not Play in 2022-23 Season

Montreal Canadiens GM Kent Hughes told reporters that Carey Price may not play at all in the 2022-23 season.

Sean Monahan

Flames Trade Monahan to Canadiens

The Calgary Flames have traded Sean Monahan and a 2025 first-round pick to the Montreal Canadiens in a move to clear cap space.

USATSI_17892713

The Flames Have Turned Heartbreak Into a Shot at Contention

With the signing of Nazem Kadri, the Calgary Flames took what looked to be a devastating offseason and turned it into a chance to become a contender.