Simply three nights in the past, the Florida Panthers watched from throughout the ice because the Vegas Golden Knights celebrated. In a collection the place one of many two groups stood assured to win their first Stanley Cup, the Panthers fell. However on this sport, time waits for nobody to grieve. And just some brief days later, Florida already finds itself swirling in commerce rumours. It might be the offseason, however loads of massive dates sit on the close to horizon. On this challenge of NHL rumours, we dig into the Panthers and Sabres, and Brett Pesce and Erik Karlsson.
NHL Rumours: Florida Panthers and Buffalo Sabres
Forward of 2023-24, each the Panthers and Buffalo Sabres need to construct on how their 2022-23 campaigns ended. For Buffalo, they performed significant video games proper as much as the very finish, however in the end fell wanting the playoffs. For Florida, issues steadily improved because the 12 months went on, a lot in order that enchancment within the subsequent season may solely imply a Cup championship.
Clearly, the groups sit in numerous spots with totally different targets subsequent season. However in both case, development seemingly begins with enchancment on their blueline. Unsurprisingly then, each squads sit squarely within the centre of NHL rumours concerning high quality NHL defencemen.
Florida Panthers and Erik Karlsson
After 4 seasons of steadily declining efficiency with the San Jose Sharks, Erik Karlsson skilled an unlimited profession resurgence in 2022-23. At 32 when the 12 months started, everybody noticed him as “previous his prime”. Then, he put up a career-high 101 factors and led the league in scoring amongst defencemen.
The Panthers stand as a crew in want of assistance on their blueline. Whereas Karlsson doesn’t supply the sturdy sort of defensive play many others do, the offensive upside greater than makes up for it. Jeff Marek famous the identical sentiment on the 32 Ideas podcast this week, a platform that at all times pushes NHL rumours into a complete new degree.
Marek: “We’ve talked at varied instances this season about by some means, someway by in some unspecified time in the future this summer time don’t be shocked if somebody like Erik Karlsson finally ends up a member of the Florida Panthers”
— NHL Watcher (@NHL_Watcher) June 16, 2023
Facilitating a Panthers – Karlsson Deal – NHL Rumours
The feasibility of the commerce stays probably the most troublesome impediment to beat, in the end. Although they’ve cash coming off their books, they’ve simply over $10 million in cap area for the 12 months forward. Karlsson carries a large $11.5 million cap hit, for the following 4 seasons besides. Florida must ship a refund, or persuade San Jose to retain wage, simply to execute the transfer. Meaning a particularly important return, one such which may simply kill the deal from ever getting off the bottom.
Perhaps, simply possibly, Sergei Bobrovsky is the lacking hyperlink right here. The 2-time Vezina Trophy winner simply put the Panthers on his again and almost gained them a Cup. His efficiency turned heads throughout, sparking NHL rumours that he regained his type and was lastly price his $10 million cap hit.
The barrier, although, seemingly sits in Bob’s no-trade clause. In any other case, an honest argument might be made in favour of exchanging a pair of highly-paid gamers who simply carried out better-than-ever, after a number of years of disappointment. Karlsson did so over an extended time frame, plus goaltending at all times adjustments year-over-year. So, Florida in all probability must throw in additional to facilitate the deal. Both method, a particularly intriguing NHL hearsay. Simply think about including a 100-point defenceman to the Panthers…
Buffalo Sabres In Brett Pesce
Whereas the Panthers go after the highest-scoring defenceman final season, Buffalo appears for a extra balanced blueliner. This NHL rumours phase has much less star-power than the primary, however way more practicality.
Brett Pesce enters the ultimate 12 months of his contract subsequent season, with a $4.025 million cap hit. The Sabres have loads of cap area so as to add that, particularly contemplating they have already got 21 gamers signed for subsequent season. Their near-$17 million in area may go to any place to improve upon their roster from final 12 months. Pesce performed on the USA Hockey Nationwide Group Improvement Program throughout Don Granato’s teaching tenure there as nicely, so familiarity exists between the events.
Pierre LeBrun stories that the Sabres expressed curiosity in Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce.
— Lance Lysowski (@LLysowski) June 16, 2023
And an improve for this crew takes the expectations up, that means a playoff spot or bust. Whether or not they push all-in to get that continues to be to be seen, however Pesce definitely slots properly with their group. They’ve a whopping six different blueliners on expiring contracts following this subsequent 12 months, too. So, including Pesce offers them a lot of choices, they usually can slowly supply extensions because the 12 months goes on to the particular defencemen in that expiring group that they need to retain.
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