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Let's face it. Florida Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon has earned the critics he has absorbed over the years.

The blunders surrounding movements such as the loss of Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith are well documented and the criticisms are well justified.

With the Panthers ready to miss the playoffs for the third year in a row (and continue their playoff series which dates back to 1995-96), some feared the Panthers would get angry and blow things up a bit. Rumors have circulated that the Panthers may have been interested in Mike Hoffman's trade or, more disturbingly, Jonathan Huberdeau's.

Instead, the Panthers did very little, beyond the seemingly inevitable trade of Derick Brassard.

Sometimes the best move you can do is not to move at all.

Many people were excited about the chances of the Panthers this season after their strong start to 2017-18, especially when you consider Florida's top strikers. Florida could win many better battles against better with a reserve of Aleksander Barkov, a Vincent Trocheck (in good health), Evgenii Dadonov, Huberdeau and Hoffman.

These attackers (as well as some useful defenders in Aaron Ekblad, Keith Yandle and Michael Matheson) could not surpass the problems of Florida, especially the net, but if you add, for example, Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky to a mix already impressive?

After the trade deadline, Tallon made it clear that the Panthers wanted to go wild at large.

"We will be very aggressive after the season," Tallon said on Feb. 25 via the Panthers' website. "We have a lot of room now. We have a lot of choices. We will turn this into a positive thing. We had some singles to break, scratch and scratch to improve our day-to-day organization, and then we'll end up hitting at home. "

Offer these sluggers

Indeed, the contracts with the Panthers to free up space (such as the $ 4.1 million Bjugstad ceiling) offer a workspace to Florida. Cap Friendly places its cap spending at just over $ 61m for 14 players in 2019-2020 and it is conceivable that the Panthers fill lists of potentially valuable players for entry-level contracts, including Henrik Borgstrom and Owen Tippett.

So there might be some room for Panarin and Bobrovsky, but if Florida both wanted them and the combined price dropped by about $ 20 million, it might require some adjustments – even though the contracts rookie for Borgstrom and Tippett continue to fall a bit.

Panthers' draft baskets could be just as useful for solving problems that could actually be used to draw perspectives. They've really piled them up lately, as noted by Jameson Olive's website:

In preparation for the repechage, Florida now has a total of nine choices in 2019 and eight choices in 2020, including two in the first round, two in the second, three in the third and four in the fourth.

Would a set of choices make it possible to convince the Senators, for example, to face James Reimer ($ 3.4 million in ceilings up to 2020-2021) and to win? to reach the ceiling? Maybe Tallon's old friends in Chicago would imply a choice for Corey Crawford if a contract with Bobrovsky was not concluded?

The Panthers have many ways to give Panarin a place of choice, including the certainly sinister idea of ​​legitimate injuries that Roberto Luongo caused by a perfectly legitimate injury.

But let's credit the Panthers to give themselves a chance to win a Grand Slam, rather than just a solo circuit …

Calling their shot

Because, frankly, the Panthers have undergone enough reconstructions and near-reconstructions at this stage. The scene is ready for 2019-2020, potentially old Babe Ruth / Owen Nolan "taking his foot".

Given that the futures market was congested by the trading deadline, getting the maximum return for Mike Hoffman did not seem realistic. And honestly? The Panthers would have no chance of surpassing Hoffman's considerable sniper skills with his $ 5.188 million turnover, which expires after 2019-2020.

(The incredible value of Huberdeau too and its $ 5.9 million market are controlled until 2022-2023.)

Adding Panarin, or even a consolation prize like Matt Duchene, to an already strong group of attackers could make the Panthers completely scary.

The goaltender situation is more delicate, but given the seriousness of the injury and the general disappointment of the Luongo – Reimer duo this season, it is also easy to imagine that the Panthers will evolve in this respect.

It would be extremely risky to go beyond Bobrovsky – even if maybe Panarin + Bobrovsky would accept a slight reduction as a forfeit? Maybe they would even be willing to drop as much for the Panthers, who allow some tax breaks as a Florida team?


There are big issues here, and the Panthers could really suffer if they move and breathe.

Instead of being a dead season because of contractual distractions or simply old goalie struggles, 2018-1919 Bobrovsky could be, more or less, the Bobrovsky that we might expect.

It is likely that Panarin, Duchene and other more valuable countries will decide to sign again with Columbus or will want to join a more established team than Florida.

There are nightmare scenarios where A-Y plans fail and the Panthers waste a ton of money with an unwise Z Plan.

Nevertheless, for a franchise that often feels without purpose, the target Panarin seems to be a goal to achieve. There is already a lot of talent in Florida and there is room to really move things forward. It was wiser not to step back a few steps, even though it remains to be seen if they can cross the big jump that awaits them.

James O & # 39; Brien is a writer for Professional Hockey Conference on NBC Sports. Leave him a line to or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.