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Big Offseason Plans for the Panthers?

General manager Dave Tallon may be looking to have big plans this upcoming offseason that could potentially take away from his golfing plans.

February 4th, 2019

With the trade deadline quickly approaching, the Florida Panthers made a splash when they shipped out 26-year-old Nick Bjugstad and 22-year-old Jared McCann to the Pittsburgh Penguins for 31-year-old Derick Brassard, 27-year-old Riley Sheahan, a 2nd round pick, and two 4th round picks. It is clear that general manager Jim Rutherford wanted to acquire some younger and more cost-controlled players in Bjugstad and McCann, but why does this make sense for the Panthers? Besides picking up a few draft picks, the Panthers acquired two soon to be UFA players in Brassard and Sheahan, whom of course can be moved at the deadline for additional assets. An odd way to retool, why not just ship out their own pending UFA players and keep their young guys in the lineup?

Well Bob McKenize may have an answer for that.

In a tweet from Bob on February 1st, shortly after the trade was announced, he believes that the Florida Panthers wanted to shed some salary while acquiring future in hopes to better their chances of landing some big names during free agency this offseason. The two names that came up were a pair of Columbus Blue Jackets teammates who have made it quite clear they have little interest in resigning with the team. This creates quite the dilemma for Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekäläinen at this year’s trade deadline, having to make some tough decisions as his team currently sits in the second wild card spot with a 3-point cushion. (Fellow GOTI co-founder and writer Mac Henley discussed the situation surrounding the Blue Jackets in depth in his article “Bye-brovsky, go check it out). Both goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and teammate Artemi Panarin are on Dave Tallon’s radar and hopes to add one if not both players between now and free agency. Could a package including pieces such as James Reimer and Derick Brassard be headed to Columbus in exchange for Bob? Will they wait for July 1st to talk to Panarin, who expressed an interest in playing in Florida?

Only time will tell.

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