The Florida Panthers trade deadline is always a hectic time of year. Plenty of general managers are in search of that one or two players that will launch their team into the postseason. With the 2020 NHL trade deadline right around the corner, plenty of trade rumours begin to swirl. That leaves many fans hopeful and/or hopeless.
The Florida Panthers are one of them, they could possibly be buyers and big ones. As some say time is running out for general manager Dale Tallon, regardless of this being maybe one of the best Panthers teams ever assembled.
Florida Panthers Trade Deadline Options
Throughout the season it has been crystal clear that the Panthers are lacking on the back end. In a “Q & A” interview with NHL.com, Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said “I’d like to acquire a veteran D if I could to play with Ekblad and settle things down a bit back there. We need to be more consistent on the blue line.”
Based on this, along with adding reports from Piere Lebrun on Insider Trading multiple teams have reported interest in forward Mike Hoffman. The Panthers could recall Owen Tippett from the AHL to fill his role. Though they may not need to do that, with plenty of drafts picks these next two years. Those are always options as well, there are a few teams looking to rebuild that could use them. With Ekblad being a right-handed defenceman, one would think Tallon is looking for a lefty. Yet, you never know what could happen.
Anaheim Ducks defenceman Josh Manson, a right-handed shot, is atop the list for many reasons. To start, Manson is in his sixth year as a pro and his contract extends through the 2020-21 season at a milder $4.1 million. At the age of 28, Manson has played over 350 games and it shows as an alternate captain of his team. In those games, he has been a solid shutdown defenceman. Only recording 94 points in that time, 21 goals and 73 assists.
Not only is Manson an enormous presence in front of the net. He has also proven he is not afraid to mix things up. With 336 minutes in penalties in his career, he is built for ground and pound style of playoffs. While he hasn’t been in involved as many fights as previously, Manson still has what it takes to protect his teammates when necessary. He has still managed to post a career Corsi For of 51 percent.
Los Angeles Kings defenceman Alec Martinez, a left-handed shot, is another name that comes to mind. The Kings are certain sellers, in the midst of a rebuild there are plenty of options. Martinez, a savvy veteran with two Stanley Cups attached to him could be the easiest pick-up. With about a year and a half left on his contract, the asking price on Martinez is not too high. Currently, the Kings are asking for a second-round draft pick. Along with another pick or possibly a prospect instead.
Martinez has over 590 career games, to match that he has recorded 64 playoffs games. The 32-year-old has played in 37 games this season, scoring one goal and seven assists to go along with 15 minutes in penalties.
Former Stanley Cup winner, Ottawa Senators defenceman Ron Hainsey is another potential trade target. Winning the Cup back in 2017 with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Hainsey has seen his fair share of NHL locker rooms. Over 1,100 games played, I’m not sure if you can get any more “veteran” than that.
The only negative, if you want to call it that, would be that he is 38-years-old going on 39 come March. Because of his age, he may be looked at as more of a rental if anything. Regardless, Hainsey would be a great addition not only on the ice but in the locker room as well.
Continuing down the list we have San Jose Sharks defenceman Brenden Dillon. A big gritty defenceman, Dillion would be an excellent addition to the Panthers blue line. Playing some of his best hockey Brenden’s current Corsi For is 51.7 percent, matching his career average. Going along with that, through 55 games Dillion has 14 total points, his career-high is 22 and there are still 27 games remaining in the season.
The Sharks season has flipped completely upside down. Going into the season, the Sharks were looked at as a playoff team. As you read this, the Sharks currently sit at sixth in the Pacific Division and 26th in the league. Looking to rebound, San Jose could use some scoring touch. With 143 goals for the Sharks are also 26th in the league in scoring.
Other Florida Panthers Trade Deadline Considerations
As all of those players above would be ideal there are still some other players the Panthers may want to take a look at. If the cats are looking for someone with some time left on their contract they could simply stay in their own division. Guys like Jeff Petry and Rasmus Ristolainen, both names have come up here and there. Ristolainen is a right-handed defenceman who still has two years left on his contract, while Petry has one year left on his contract.
Continuing off that, someone like Mike Green could be a good addition to the power-play. The Detroit Red Wings in drastic needs of any help they can get. Green could be an option, not as much of an offensive threat as before. He still knows his way around the defensive zone, along with plenty of experience. Speaking of experience, another guy that could pop-up on the radar is Marco Scandella with over 500 games played. Scandella has been a calming presence on the back-end for quite some time.
At the end of the day, if the Panthers want any chance at making the playoffs they have to make adjustments on the back end or they will continue to hit the links early.