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What does Florida have to trade? Let’s pick over the roster

Nov 8, 2013, 11:21 AM EDT

Marcel Goc, Tomas Fleischmann, Kris Versteeg AP

Dale Tallon wants to make a trade. Badly.

With his team off to a disastrous 3-9-4 start, the Panthers’ general manager already felt the need to fire head coach Kevin Dineen, along with assistants Gord Murphy and Craig Ramsay. And let’s face it, with new ownership in Florida, the next guy to be fired could be Tallon.

But what does Tallon have to offer other NHL teams? We’ll ignore blue-chippers like Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov; if any of the Panthers’ highly touted youngsters are available, obviously they’ll draw interest.

As for Florida’s veterans? Here are a few to consider:

Tomas Fleischmann: The team’s leading scorer, with 11 points in 15 games. The 29-year-old winger is signed through 2014-15 with a $4.5 million cap hit that would’ve been a lot easier to move in any other season. (Cap space isn’t exactly plentiful for most teams.) But given Rick Nash’s health concerns, might the Rangers have some interest here? Just throwing it out there.

Marcel Goc: A pending unrestricted free agent with a $1.7 million cap hit, this 30-year-old center should be movable. He’s not going to score a ton and he’s got a lengthy injury log that may be concerning, but for a team looking to bolster depth down the middle, Goc could be a target.

Jesse Winchester: Very affordable pending UFA with a cap hit of just $600,000, this 30-year-old forward has four goals and three assists in 16 games. He also doesn’t mind playing physical, with 25 hits.

Shawn Matthias: Signed through 2014-15 with a cap hit of $1.75 million, Matthias is another guy who could bolster a team’s forward depth. The 25-year-old had a career-high 14 goals last season, so there’s scoring potential in him too. Of course, the Panthers may be loathe to trade him, for those exact reasons.

Tom Gilbert: Pending UFA. Low cap hit ($900,000). Gilbert, 30, is logging 21:06 per game on the Panthers’ blue line. Teams are always looking to add extra d-men for the playoffs, though some might want to wait until closer to the spring to do that.

Those five aren’t the only ones that could be available. Far from it. Tallon should also be more than willing to talk about veterans like Kris Versteeg, Scottie Upshall, Brad Boyes, Tomas Kopecky, Sean Bergenheim, Scott Gomez, Mike Weaver, Matt Gilroy and Ryan Whitney.

Basically, if he wasn’t a high draft pick in the past few years, he’s more than likely available.

  1. themagicman1223 - Nov 8, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    We’ll give you Desharnais for….. well pretty much anything. Please take him Florida, pretty please?

    • withseidelinn - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:00 PM

      If I were a Habs fan I would love to see that guy go, but with his cap hit it’s virtually impossible.

      • themagicman1223 - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:05 PM

        Totally agree.

      • justinhbhb - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:51 PM

        I agree with both of you. Maybe a draft pick for him and let Galchenyuk get some time centering a line..

  2. alicesrightfootesq - Nov 8, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    You guys can’t have Matthias.

    • withseidelinn - Nov 8, 2013 at 11:59 AM

      Matthis and Versteeg are the 2 guys they SHOULD trade, given that they’re really the only players who could have an impact on a legitimate club. Maybe Kulikov as well given his potential. If I were the Oilers I would take a shot at Tom Gilbert again. Low chance he revives his career, but his cap hit is minimal and they can let him walk at the end of the season.

  3. metalization1 - Nov 8, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    It’s time to move the Panthers to a true hockey market, with owners who are willing to spend money on the team. Until then, the team will remain as bottom feeders.

    • youvebeenphaneufed - Nov 8, 2013 at 11:55 AM

      What do you mean by “spend money on the team?” This is the MLB.

      • youvebeenphaneufed - Nov 8, 2013 at 11:55 AM

        *isn’t. My bad.

      • metalization1 - Nov 8, 2013 at 1:52 PM

        I mean spending more than the league minimum on players. Generally, you can’t attract quality talent and build a winning team when you are unwilling to spend more than the league minimum.

    • nj666 - Nov 8, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      wow I’ve never thought of that idea. I mean no one has ever suggested that, you are a true hockey mind and should clearly be running the league.

  4. newjerseydevilsfanpuckcollection - Nov 8, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    Like I have said before, two teams that need to move are Pheonix and Florida.

    Bettman won’t make these moves because they will make him look like a failure. (ie: look at the Atlanta issue). A team going back to Winnipeg has made him look like a failure.

    Plus where will the GM’s and owners have meetings with readily accessible golf courses year round? That would leave Tampa only for these meetings. Doubt they will be having meeting in Mid-Jan in Edmonton anytime soon.

    (PS this coming from a Devil’s fan who has seen its share of comments for possible moves)

    • sjsblitz - Nov 8, 2013 at 1:15 PM

      Thats not gonna help, not like moving a team is going to somehow make them win games. You can take the Panther out of Florida, but you cant take the Florida out of the Panther

      • newjerseydevilsfanpuckcollection - Nov 8, 2013 at 1:20 PM

        It would help the business side of things.

        Not only is it a joke to watch this team…its a joke to see some of them having a tan in mid january.

  5. prd797 - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Just a thought, but in my opinion Brian Campbell should be a part of that list. Still a very solid offensive d-man. Yes, his contract is really bad (7.1 cap hit for two years after this), but Florida could very well retain salary and thus bring back a pretty good return. Campbell would probably wave his NTC to play for a contender again.

    This team is awful. Very few of the veterans should be off-limits to being sent elsewhere. Hell, some of ‘em might welcome a trade to a better team.

  6. ntvd7 - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    How is Scottie Upshall still in this league????

  7. bullwinkle88 - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Let’s face it, aside from Huberdeau, Barkov, Kulikov, and Campbell the Panthers really have nothing of value.

  8. stepanup - Nov 8, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    Welcome to Florida Panther’s Day on PHT!

  9. justinhbhb - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    New owner. And he sees that the financial well being of the organization is contingent on the team doing well.. Particularly in one of the worst markets.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he gives the ok to make BIG changes… He’s new and coming in with high hopes

    • smgraff4 - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:20 PM

      The Panthers are not technically in Miami proper—aren’t really looking at getting native Miamians to care about the team on a grassroots level. Then again, not much in Miami sports has gotten them to care on an organic level besides “the U”. (They will bash me on the basketball level, but others know that there could easily be few Heat fans at games once their Big Three move on.) Even if you give the Dolphins a partial pass–the ownerships never really looked at Miami as in….we gotta identify with those people (the Haitian, Cuban, South-American, etc. populations that are there).

      And I’m not sure the grassroots efforts were really there to galvanize a city known for jay-alai to really get behind hockey and mostly the Florida Panthers (or Miami HC as I would love to call them). Moving them to a Canadian city, Cascadia, KC, or somewhere else in the Northeast (even a place like Hershey, PA) will mean that there’s more grassroots there and that may help the team/the sport stick through tough times. But fan discontent over the team’s direction will still be there. Where-ever the Panthers end up, they don’t have the historical basis to not do a shakeup. (If it were me, I’d even try to trade guys like Barkov, Huberdeau, etc. if we could get something really good.)

      • greatmiamisportsmind - Nov 8, 2013 at 6:24 PM

        Are you off your meds? Of course Sunrise (Fort Lauderdale) is part of the Miami metropolitan area. I’ll argue Florida is in a great spot. They can get fans from Miami (since you think that isn’t part of Miami/Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area), Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach is about 35 minutes away. Easily driving distance. Then again since there games are broadcasted on WQAM 560 out of Miami, they better find a local partner.

        Florida hockey fans are just like Minnesota basketball fans. If they are winning, they will sell out the place. When the team has made the playoffs once since 2000 (or when Minnesota and Columbus were in their inaugural seasons), it’s hard to get the fans to show up. If it were Chicago or Toronto that were that bad for that long, they wouldn’t show either.

        Winning cures everything

      • smgraff4 - Nov 8, 2013 at 8:06 PM

        Very true. And I apologize for thinking Miami and South Florida in general is as hard to win over hockey fans as a Canadian team (particularly a Canadian team without history). Also winning a lot builds tradition. It’s hard to build a tradition if the team isn’t very competitive, or is building around an all-world star. Capitals and Penguins were in the Panthers’ boats years ago–with the Penguins almost leaving Pittsburgh. Then Ovechkin, Crosby, Malkin, etc., happened, and the teams became much better. And look at where they are now.

        You have cannot have a tradition without a sustained run of success and reasons for fans to keep coming back to support teams (which they did not form on their own–mind you). We don’t have promotion and relegation in our major sports where there’s always something to play for, and teams form relatively organically–whether for identity reasons or another reason. So, you are right. Winning is the only way to form that tradition.

  10. thos_prattt - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Let’s say Tallon could interest a rival GM in one of the overpriced underachievers listed. Wouldn’t Florida have to take significant salary back in any deal, just so they can stay at the cap floor? I thought the whole reason he created this hot mess of rich semiretired vets was to reach the cap floor?

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Nov 8, 2013 at 9:11 PM

      The player’s salary are proportioned as the season goes on. Since the Panthers have played 16 games of the 82 game schedule, the salary is adjusted for the remaining 66 games. As each game is played, the lower the salary will be. It’s also possible, Florida could take on up to a certain percentage of players contracts for the remainder of the season to stay above the cap floor. The players PHT is taking about isn’t a whole lot of money, so moving them shouldn’t be hard.

      Tomas Fleischmann’s cap hit is 4.5 million. This cap hit today is 3,622,500
      Marcel Goc’s cap hit is 1.7 million. The cap hit today is 1,368,500
      Jesse Winchester’s cap hit 600,000. The cap hit today is 483,000
      Shawn Mathias’s cap hit is 1.75 million. The cap hit today is 1,408,750
      Tom Gilbert’s cap hit is 900,000. The cap hit today is 724,500

      After the game with Ottawa tomorrow afternoon, those numbers will be 1/82 lower.

  11. hosewater2 - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    Canucks just waiting for Booth to have his season-ending injury while playing in Utica to pull the trigger on a Versteeg deal.

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