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Expansion Blues: Why the Florida Panthers gave Marchessault and Smith to Vegas



Panthers Vegas Marchessault expansion
Vegas Golden Knights forwards Jonathan Marchessault (81) and Reilly Smith (19) celebrate a goal in Los Angeles during the 2018 preseason. // Photo by Joshua Lavallee/Icon Sportswire

Wednesday night, Seattle will have the bones of its first roster as it will select 30 players in the NHL’s latest expansion draft. But, as we saw in 2017 with Vegas, the Kraken may end up with more than one player from the same team.

Remember when the Florida Panthers gave up both Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith?

Of course you do. Hard to forget.

It was a controversial decision by GM Dale Tallon in 2017 and it certainly has not aged well.

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Smith and Marchessault have both excelled in Vegas. That first year in the desert, the expansion team led by fired Panthers coach Gerard Gallant played in the Stanley Cup Finals.

The question remains: Why did the Panthers give up two players when they only had to lose one?

As we watch the Kraken make side deals with teams in our current state of a flat salary cap, a similar crop of moves could be made.

Even the Panthers could lose two players to the Kraken.

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