The History of Trade is a mini series going through each team’s best and worst trades of all time. Each team has their own history and some may cross over, but the series will try to stick to each team. This article will focus on the Florida Panthers trade history, finding the best and worst of all time.
Florida Panthers Trade History: Best and Worst Trades of All-Time
With one of the shortest histories in the NHL, one would think the Florida Panthers would not have been a part of the best and worst trades in history. But to the surprise of many, they have been involved in both sides on multiple occasions. Unfortunately for their fans though, they have made more bad trades than they would like.
The Panthers are no strangers to trades. In their 24 year history they have made some rather big moves trying to make their team a contender. Let’s not forget, this is a team that traded for Jaromir Jagr and gave up practically nothing. But somehow that trade was not the best in team history.
For two of the best, if not the two best, players in team history, the Panthers brass managed to give up practically nothing. After finishing fourth in Calder voting two years prior, Parrish fell out of favour fairly quick. After being traded to the Islanders Parrish struggled even more, only putting up 17 goals and 30 points. He would rebound nicely with a 30-goal, 60-point campaign the next year. Unfortunately for the Islanders that would be the best season of his career, never exceeding the 50-point mark again. He was traded to the Los Angeles Kings during the 2005-06 season where he would continue to regress. He would play until the 2010-11 season before finally retiring.
Kvasha struggled even more on Long Island than Parrish. After back-to-back 25-point seasons in Florida, Kvasha arrived on the island hoping for a better outcome. Unfortunately, things got worse before they got better. In his first season in New York Kvasha only managed 20 points, including 11 goals. His numbers took a turn for the better the next season. Kvasha managed to score 13 goals and put up 38 points overall. Those numbers weren’t bad for the former third round pick, but New York was hoping for more. His best season on Long Island came in 2003-04 when Kvasha managed 15 goals and 51 points.
Kvasha signed with Cherepovets in Russia after that season during the lockout and eventually found his way onto the CSKA Moscow squad. His NHL career would only last one more season after that. He split time between the Islanders and the Phoenix Coyotes, putting up 32 points along the way.
Despite any success either player going to the Island had, it would pale in comparison to what the Panthers received. Olli Jokinen arrived in Long Island just a year prior to the trade. He managed to put up his second 21-point campaign while in New York. The Islanders had no clue what they had when they traded him away. After a down year in his first year, Jokinen began to show signs of his capabilities. But it wasn’t until 2002-03 that he broke out for good.
Jokinen put up 36 goals and 65 points, shattering his previous career high. The Panthers soon realized the player they had received. He took a slight step back in the 2003-04 season, but he still managed 58 points. He spent the lockout year playing in the Swiss league and then the Swedish league. Upon returning to the NHL, Jokinen showed he was a player to fear. He put up 38 goals and 89 points in 2005-06, all career highs at that point.
Jokinen followed that up with another career year, scoring 39 goals and adding 52 assists. He would spend only one more year in Florida after that, scoring 34 goals and putting up 71 points. After the 2007-08 season Jokinen was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes for Keith Ballard, Nick Boynton, and a 2008 second round pick (which they eventually traded back to the Coyotes).
Jokinen’s Panthers career would see him score 188 goals and 419 points across seven seasons. His 419 points still puts him as the highest point total in team history, with the closest current player still 221 points behind (Jonathan Huberdeau).
Receiving one of the best players in team history would make this trade a win to begin with. But the Panthers received much more than that. In a surprise to all, the Panthers also received the best goaltender in team history in the deal as well. Roberto Luongo played in only one season for New York. He posted a 3.22 goals-against-average that year, winning seven games in his 24 games played. His numbers were nothing to get excited about so the Islanders decided to move the young goaltender.
The Panthers received a goaltender that no one expected. His first season in the sunshine state was indication of that. Luongo managed to post a 2.44 goals-against-average and a .920 save percentage in 47 games that year. He finished ninth in Calder voting in the same season as Evgeni Nabokov entered the league.
Luongo and the Panthers would continue to succeed the following seasons. He would go four years in Florida managing a goals-against-average at or below 2.77. But it wasn’t just his numbers that continued to improve, but the team’s win total slowly increased each year. Luongo went from 12 wins his rookie year to 35 wins in just five seasons.
“Bobby Lou” would only stay in Florida for five seasons in his first go around. He won 108 games in that span, proving he was a key piece to this deal. When Luongo was traded away it was a huge blow for the young franchise. It would also go down as one of the worst trades in team history.
Honourable Mentions: Florida acquires Roberto Luongo and Steven Anthony from the Vancouver Canucks for Jacob Markstrom and Shawn Matthias; Florida acquires Ray Sheppard and a fourth round pick (Joey Tetarenko) from the San Jose Shark for a second round pick (later traded to Chicago (Geoff Peters)) and fourth round pick (Matt Bradley); Panthers acquire Jaromir Jagr for a 2015 second round pick (Ryan Gropp) a third round pick in 2016 (Rem Pitlick) (Both picks were traded away).
Luongo gave the Panthers five solid seasons in his first stint with the club. He became a club and league legend, like many others in the league after big trades. But like Teemu Selanne for the Ducks, Luongo was a part of both the best and worst trades in team history.
In a move that shocked the hockey world. Everyone knew that the Panthers and Luongo were struggling with contract negotiation. It was about time they moved on from him. Unfortunately they had no clue what they were getting in this deal.
Krajicek would play in three seasons in Florida before being involved in the deal. He only managed to put up 23 points in 90 games in that stretch. After arriving in Vancouver, Krajicek would see slightly more success, but only would play in two seasons with the Canucks.
The pick that the Panthers traded away would turn into Sergei Shirokov. His NHL career was short and not really so sweet. He would only manage one point in eight games before returning to Russia to continue his career with CSKA Moscow.
Luongo, on the other hand, was the star of yet another trade. After arriving from Florida, he would put up otherworldly numbers in Vancouver. His first season with the club saw him post a 2.29 goals-against-average and win 47 games. He led the team to a playoff birth and they made it to the second round. Things would just get better from there though as the Canucks would make the playoffs in six of his seven full seasons with the club.
When all was said and done, Luongo would go on to fashion a 2.36 goals-against-average across parts of eight seasons in Vancouver. He would be traded back to Florida in 2013-14 with Steven Anthony for Jacob Markstrom and Shawn Matthias. The deal would work out for Florida in the end, but they had to suffer for a few years.
Trading away a 35-win goalie is never easy. Usually the team manages to get a decent return on their investment though. The Panthers were not able to pull that off unfortunately.
Todd Bertuzzi was the biggest name returning to The Sunshine state, which in and of itself is a shame. Only two years removed from his infamous sucker punch on Steve Moore, Bertuzzi had put up solid numbers in Vancouver. He managed back-to-back seasons with 60-or-more points prior to the trade. Things looked positive for the power forward.
But the move to Florida would see that production begin to slide. Bertuzzi only managed to play seven games for the club, although he did register seven points in that time. Bertuzzi was soon dealt to the Detroit Red Wings for Shawn Matthias. Although his time in Florida was short, every NHL fan remembers him as the key return for the Panthers in this deal.
Bryan Allen would stay a little longer in Florida than Bertuzzi. In fact, he would stay for parts of five seasons with the organization. He registered 67 point in 284 games as a defenseman. Not known for scoring, Allen made a bigger impact on the defensive end as a veteran. His time in Florida would end after being traded in the 2010-11 season to the Carolina Hurricanes for Sergei Samsonov.
Another short-lived Florida career belonged to the last member of this trade, Alex Auld. Like Bertuzzi, Auld would only play in one season, although he did manage to stay the whole year. He would finish with just seven wins in 27 appearances that year while posting a mediocre 3.34 goals-against-average. He left the Panthers in the off-season after signing as a free agent in Phoenix.
Somehow within five years the Panthers had moved every piece they received in the deal. Luongo’s career in Vancouver would see him lead the team to a Stanley Cup Final. It’s hard to believe the Panthers gave him up for very little.
Dishonourable Mentions: Panthers trade Dan Boyle to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a fifth round pick (Martin Tuma); Panthers acquire Kevyn Adams and 2001 fourth round pick (Michael Woodford) from the Columbus Blue Jackets for Ray Whitney and future considerations