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#AskGR Mailbag

FHN Florida Panthers Mailbag opens as George flies home



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COLUMBUS — I have left one of my favorite airports (John Glenn International) and am on a flight back to the sunshine of South Florida after covering the Panthers here last week.

It will be nice to be back on the right side of 70 degrees once again.

Man, it has been cold.

As I start to thaw out, thought it would be a good time to answer all of your pressing questions about the Panthers.

There has been a lot happen with this team since our previous Mailbag was opened up two days before Christmas.

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The Panthers were in a bit of a lull during that time, Covid-19 taking its toll on the team and forcing an extended holiday break.

Since then, the team broke out with one of its best runs in franchise history.

So, what’s on your mind?

Got questions about the lineup, potential trades, what was I thinking spending a week in Ohio during the heart of winter?

You know the deal: Leave your most pressing questions as a comment on this post, go to Twitter and ask using the #AskGR hashtag or leave a message on Facebook if you saw the post there.

I will be answering questions on my flight south and finish up from the comfort of my air conditioned townhouse in Plantation.

Deadline for questions is 10 p.m. Tuesday night.

The Mailbag will publish on Wednesday morning.

Pitter patter, let’s get at ‘er!



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Matthew Kristal

What targets will Zito be looking at at the trade deadline and what pieces do we realistically have to offer up? Related question: How serious is the Panthers’ interest in bringing Chychrun home?


Who do you think would be the best defenseman for us to bring over of the good ones available? Do you think Zito will dip into prospect pool like Denisenko, Hutsko, Noel, Kierstad, etc to make a deal happen? I’m not ready to give up on Tippett.

Kyle Campbell

Do you think the signing of Mack Guzda could signal that Zito is willing to use Spencer Knight as a trade chip in an effort to boost the blueline? In addition, do you see Zito trying to add Claude Giroux?

Phil Gallo

GR… do you see the playing time panning out w Acciari / Horny back and the logjam that will now exist ? Thanks for all your excellent coverage!!


What does the team think about Tippett? He’s had some good chances and improved different parts of his game, but hasn’t really been able to score much. Does the team still see him as a top-line forward? Seems like he may be getting surpassed by other young players. What’s the plan for Hornqvist next year? He’s had a huge leadership role and has been really effective when healthy, but there’s a salary crunch next year and he’s not getting any younger. The team needs to fit in someone like Marchment. Does Hornqvist get traded or bought out after one last… Read more »

Cats and Leafs

The Panthers have a formidable top 6, and any top line minutes that Tippett is getting appears to be so that they can showcase him for trade in my opinion. He needs time to develop, but if the Cats are in win now mode, he may unfortunately be a casualty.


Knowing Zito and how he has operated thus far, do you think he is more inclined to make “value trades” in shoring up some depth before the playoffs (a winger and d-man) as opposed to a more “splashy” and pricey acquisition (like a Chychrun)? What is also interesting, is what do you make of the Panthers recent goalie signing? Is this a portend of things to come as far as a potential trade package to bring in another defenseman?

Bryan Geary

Seems like our 2 – 4 lines have some set combinations that have worked pretty consistently well (Huberdeau – Bennett – Duclair / Marchment – Lundell – Reinhart / Hornqvist – Luostarinen – Lomberg) but the 1st line is Barkov, Verhaghe and (rotate a name here while affecting one of the other 3 lines). Acciari looks like he will be back in the lineup soon. Do you think they try slotting Acciari in on that first line or maybe move Reinhart back there and try him on the 3rd or how do you think things will look once Acciari is… Read more »

Cats and Leafs

Do you think the Barkov Huberdeau pairing continues, or is this just experimentation in case we need to go to it down the line?

Also, the fan base has been more vocal and present of late, even though that was not the case earlier in the year. Is there a sense on the team and management that they are finally getting some of the local (and national) attention they deserve, or more frustration at the still relative lack of support and respect?

Ed Purchase

George, can you comment on what – and please be specific – you like so much about the John Glenn International Airport? Also, which is better: Wawa or Buc-ees? Asking for Sheetz.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ed Purchase
Terence Graham

Hey George,

Thanks to you and Colby as always for the excellent coverage.

My question for you is a simple one: why haven’t the Panthers caught on and released a third jersey (reverse retros don’t count as they were a league-wide initiative)?


Is Etu actively being shopped? If he’s still a cat after the deadline does he move to the wing on a forth line featuring acciari in the middle and lomberg on the opposite wing?


Did you know the phrase:

‘Pitter patter, let’s get at ‘er!’

was coined in the Strathroy Rockets Jr B dressing room where I used to drive the Zamboni, when Jordan Kesso, the star of Letterkenny, played for the team?

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