The hockey world loves NHL Trade Deadline time and Saturday’s news that the Florida Panthers completed a deal with the Philadelphia Flyers for Claude Giroux set things aflame.
The Trade Deadline comes Monday at 3 p.m. and the Panthers may — or may not be — done.
The fun part of deadline time is that everyone is included, in one way or another. The contenders are all working to get better, teams who have been out of it for months suddenly have something going on as they work to unload pieces and look toward the future.
Even teams who don’t do anything make news.
The Panthers’ move made the headlines on Saturday as expected.
In exchange for Giroux, the Panthers gave up Owen Tippett as well as a first and third-round pick.
Florida has now given up its next three first-round selections and do not have one until 2025.
But aside from Tippett, the Panthers kept their prospect pool basically intact.
For Tippett, Ty Smilanic and some draft picks, GM Bill Zito pulled in two of the top trade targets out there.
The Panthers brought in a physical defenseman Wednesday when they acquired Ben Chiarot and then snagged Giroux.
Florida has tossed its chips in and are going for it all.
And, Zito still has some time to do something else.
The trade for Giroux was weeks in the making with Philadelphia scouting Tippett — who had a strong end to last season but struggled at times with the Panthers in this one — in Charlotte.
Giroux wanted to come to the Panthers and, Saturday, it all came together.
Florida looks real, real good.
— Aaron Ekblad got hurt Friday night but it perhaps looked scarier than it was. Andrew Brunette said Ekblad is “going to be OK.”
— We should know a little more on the extent of Ekblad’s injury today when the Panthers practice in Coral Springs. If Ekblad is expected to be out more than a few days, Zito may be looking for one more defenseman before Monday.
— Looking at the Giroux trade from the Philadelphia Flyers perspective. Philly Hockey Now writes that Giroux, now former-captain of the Flyers, leaves a lasting legacy.
— Giroux picked the Panthers — and that should make fans of the Colorado Avalanche happy.
— Spencer Knight had a big week for the Panthers, starting all four games on the west coast trip — and getting his first NHL shutout in the process.
— The Miami Herald says the Panthers have an “embarrassment of riches at forward.’’ Not wrong.
— By waiving his no-trade clause, Giroux knew the Panthers were committed to trying to win it all writes some Guy named Colby for the Palm Beach Post.
— Joining the Panthers will be a “change of pace” for Giroux after dealing with the disappointing Flyers this season writes ESPN.
— Hear from Brunette, Knight and Jonathan Huberdeau on the FHN YouTube page RIGHT HERE. Don’t forget to subscribe.
I plan to post post-practice video later this afternoon as well as Zito talking Monday once the deadline hits. Again, spread the word and subscribe!
AROUND THE NHL
The Panthers weren’t the only ones making deals on Saturday.
The Boston Bruins are true contenders now writes Joe Haggerty after acquiring Hampus Lindholm from the Ducks.
— The Washington Capitals will be without forward T.J. Oshie after he got injured.
— Nashville is working on locking up Fillip Forsberg before Monday.
— The trade talk around Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi continues.
— The Vegas Golden Knights may be looking for a goalie before the deadline and could be interested in Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov.
— Have the Calgary Flames done all they’re going to before Monday?