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Florida Roll Call: Future of Chase Priskie with the Panthers



Chase priskie
Florida Panthers defenseman Chase Priskie sets up a play during the third period of a preseason game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Oct. 7. — AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

In November, Chase Priskie made history as the first player born-and-raised in South Florida to suit up for his hometown Florida Panthers.

Now, it appears the Pembroke Pines native will be playing somewhere else.

Unless something happens between now and this afternoon, Priskie is expected to sign with another NHL team after free agency opens at noon.

UPDATE: Nothing happened. Priskie signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Buffalo Sabres.

The Panthers, currently under serious cap constraints, are believed to have had interest in keeping Priskie — and the interest is mutual.

Perhaps something can be worked out before free agency opens today at noon.

If not, Priskie will be joining another organization.

“We have some significant interest from a number of teams,” Priskie told Florida Hockey Now on Tuesday afternoon. “With how the market has been the past 48 hours, obviously things can change. But there is significant interest.”

Chase priskie

Florida Panthers defenseman Chase Priskie made his NHL debut on Nov. 4 against the Washington Capitals. Priskie, who grew up in Pembroke Pines, became the first South Florida raised player to suit up for his hometown team. The Panthers announced Priskie’s debut on their video boards outside their arena in Sunrise. // Photo @GeorgeRichards

Florida acquired Priskie as part of its four-player return in the Vincent Trocheck trade at the 2020 NHL deadline.

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Two of the players Florida received — Erik Haula and Lucas Wallmark — have already moved on; Priskie and Eetu Luostarinen remain.

Coincidentally, Trocheck is a free agent and is expected to leave Carolina today.

Priskie finished the 2019-20 season with Florida’s AHL team in Springfield and was with the team during its postseason bubble that year.

In 2021, Priskie spent the season with AHL Syracuse and spent time on the Florida taxi squad but did not play in a game.

Priskie was one of the final cuts of the 2021 training camp, but he and Matt Kiersted were quickly called up when Markus Nutivaara was hurt the day before Opening Night.

Kiersted played; Priskie did not.

He finally make his much anticipated NHL debut with the Panthers on Nov. 4 in a game against the Washington Capitals.

“I’m mostly just speechless,” Priskie said that morning. “You dream about this day forever. You put in a lot of hard work and with some luck you’re able to achieve it. I’m going to just try and be in the moment and play.”

On Tuesday, Priskie recalled that day.

”It is one of the highlights of my life,” he said. “It was something that I could not have dreamed was possible and to go out there and do it was a surreal moment not just for me but for my family, our friends … it was something I cherish and hold close to my heart.

”Growing up, playing for the Jr. Panthers, I never dreamed of playing in the NHL. To see how far my career has come, to see the heights I want to raise it to has been fun. And it’s been eyeopening. I am excited to see what the future holds.”

Priskie had a solid 2021-22 season — both in Charlotte and with the Panthers.

He spent most of his season with the Checkers, playing in 54 games and scoring eight goals with 41 points, helping Charlotte to a division title and the third round of the playoffs.

Priskie’s debut against the Capitals was not his only NHL game as he ended up playing in four games with the Panthers. He is still waiting to register his first NHL point.

”I thought I had a pretty good showing when I was up there, showed them what I could do in the minors,” he said. “It was a fantastic year for myself from playing my first NHL games and ended up playing in a couple. For them to come with the Panthers is extremely special and something I will always be grateful to the organization for allowing me the opportunity to earn that chance.’’

The Panthers recently signed Kiersted to a two-year contract extension.

While the first year of the deal has a two-way designation (meaning he will be paid an AHL salary if in the minors), the second had a one-way clause meaning he will make his NHL salary regardless of where he is playing.

Kiersted is expected to compete for one of the remaining spots on the Florida defense in camp this September with Florida expected to carry seven on its 23-man roster.

If Priskie were to return, he would be in the thick of that battle as well.

Florida Panthers Roll Call was a recurring feature at Florida Hockey Now leading into the start of trade and free-agent season.

The NHL Draft was held last week in Montreal; free agency opens today. 

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