The Florida Panthers are a force to be reckoned with, as they sit as one of the league’s top dogs. They have made it crystal clear that they are going all-in for the Stanley Cup with their current trades, and more rumors are circulating about possible moves. The Panthers already shipped out forward Frank Vatrano to the New York Rangers in exchange for a fourth-round selection in the 2022 draft.
Florida’s most recent trade was sending out Ty Smilanic, a 2023 first-round pick and a 2022 fourth-round pick to the Montreal Canadiens for defensemen Ben Chiarot. As reported by Pierre LeBrun, the powerhouse in Sunrise, FL, is undoubtedly looking to add another guy with $2.1 million in prorated space. It appears as though they are looking to add a veteran forward to this point-production powerhouse of a forward group. However, there still is a chance that General Manager Bill Zito could go after a defenseman. Regardless of their final moves before the deadline, this team is a wagon.
Make sure to check out all of our other NHL Trade Deadline Previews.
Current Record: 41-14-6
Division Standings: First in the Atlantic
Buyers or Sellers: Buyers
The Hearst, Ontario native is a hot commodity this deadline, and every club wants a deal with the skilled veteran. Florida ranks at the top of that list since Frank Seravalli reported that Giroux would not travel with the Philadelphia Flyers to Ottawa because there is a deal soon to come. Seravalli also said that this trade could occur, but sources within both organizations said there is currently no concrete deal.
When looking at adding Giroux into the Panthers lineup, the addition of the 1,000 games-played center would be a seamless fit into the franchise, statistically. Giroux would rank seventh on the Panthers at the moment, which would be a great addition to the highest-scoring team in the league. Another positive is that he is one of the best leaders in the league, and the fact that he is on the back-end of his career chasing a Stanley Cup. No better place to do that than down in Florida with the Panthers.
Another player that there is much talk about for this deadline is Chychrun. The upside of the Boca Raton, FL native: He is 23 years old, a proven NHL defenseman, and an excellent long-term investment. The downside to buying a guy like this is his asking price is Jack Eichel-like, and working his contract into the cap space would be difficult, though not impossible. Good news for Florida fans, the Panthers would be able to fit this stud into a lineup already full of them.
Comparing Chychrun’s statistics from this season to last, his offensive production has declined. A sign of light in that department is that he has five goals and eight assists in his last 21 games. In the 26 games prior, he recorded two goals and five assists. With his offensive-game increasing and his prevalence around the league, it would be good for the Panthers to take him out of a challenging situation in Arizona and give him one of the best chances of a Stanley Cup down in Florida.
The 28-year-old 6’4″ defender would add a significant presence of physicality on the blue-line for the Panthers. Lindholm also brings a solid offensive game to the table and the ability to endure top-line minutes. He is very similar to Florida’s most recent signing, Chiarot. Adding Lindholm to the mix would make the Panthers defense an adamant team to encounter in a playoff series.
One thing that points in the direction of the Ducks trading Lindholm is that Pierre LeBrun reported that he would not play for the Anaheim Ducks close to the deadline because he will get dealt out. Whether or not he goes to Florida is all speculation, but the asking price for Lindholm is a first-round pick, a third-round pick, and a top prospect. The Panthers have the pieces to acquire this well-rounded blue-liner. It is just a matter of where the Ducks decide to do business.
Check us out on our socials:
Twitter: @PTSTNews and @TalkPrimeTime
Facebook Page: Prime Time Sports Talk
Join our Facebook Group: Prime Time Sports Talk
Follow Blake Thorne on Twitter @_BlakeThorne
Main Image Credit:
Embed from Getty Images