We are now a week away from the NHL Draft kicking off in Nashville which, of course, means there is plenty of trade talk.
Although much talk revolves around current players and draft capital, the Florida Panthers are being mentioned even though the team does not own a first-round pick until 2026.
Word around the league is that a couple of high-profile defensemen are available with San Jose’s Erik Karlsson — who may be the 2022-23 Norris Trophy winner — and Calgary’s Noah Hanifin looking for greener pastures.
The Panthers do have some salary cap space when free agency opens on July 1, but after sitting out the NHL Draft trade season last year, perhaps Bill Zito gets in the game this time around.
Of course, Zito was not quiet for long.
After not doing anything at the 2022 draft due to a lack of draft capital and salary cap space, Zito pulled off a blockbuster in bringing Matthew Tkachuk to town.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW
Grigori Denisenko got in a full season with the Panthers after missing the second half of the last one with a fractured knee cap.
It looks like the Panthers’ first-round pick from 2018 may be turning a corner — and he says he wants to return.
But will the KHL come calling? Probably.
— Aaron Ekblad said “Instagram sucked” a couple days after the Knights beat the Panthers in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final to earn that parade. While no one expected the Panthers to be playing for the Stanley Cup when these playoffs started but that does not mean there is not tremendous disappointment in failing to win the thing.
— Speaking of Ekblad, he will need shoulder surgery and says he expects to miss the start of training camp.
— Tkachuk fractured his sternum during Game 3 of the Final yet kept coming back. Until he could come back no more.
— The Panthers are now looking ahead with the NHL Draft next week and the free agency period opening July 1. What’s next for these Panthers?
— Don’t forget to subscribe to the FHN YouTube Channel RIGHT HERE to see all of the videos from the Panthers’ offseason all in one place.
If you hit subscribe (it’s free), you will know when new content comes up.
Not only is there a ton of video following Game 5 from the likes of Paul Maurice, Sergei Bobrovsky and Sasha Barkov, but there is a lot of exit day video from Aaron Ekblad and Matthew Tkachuk as well.
Thanks again for watching these all season long. There is more coming.
NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
The Philadelphia Flyers have new unis — and a different shade of orange.
— James Reimer is moving on from the San Jose Sharks and is already speaking with other teams.
— Linus Ullmark credited a lot of folks for his superb season with the Boston Bruins and a likely Vezina Trophy.
— It’s time for the Hockey Hall of Fame committee to call the name of former Buffalo Sabres star Alexander Mogilny.
— Zach Parise earned a new contract with the New York Islanders.
— If Matvei Michkov falls to No. 8, will the Washington Capitals draft him?
— Looking at who the Pittsburgh Penguins could look at when it comes to the NHL trade market.
— The Chicago Blackhawks already have the top overall pick, but could they trade their way into the Top 10?
— With Carolina d-man Brett Pesce potentially available, the Colorado Avalanche reportedly have interest.
— Should the Vegas Golden Knights pass on keeping Ivan Barbashev?
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK