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Florida Panthers Mailbag: Ekblad v. Makar, Free Agency & More

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Florida panthers

The Florida Panthers currently have $3 million in cap space as they head into the opening round of the NHL Draft and find themselves with multiple players up for new contracts when free agency opens on July 13

Mason Marchment, Claude Giroux and Ben Chiarot are unrestricted free agents while Eetu Luostarinen and Lucas Carlsson are restricted free agents.

Florida also has to worry about Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar hitting the open market in the 2023 offseason.

While the Florida Panthers head into the first round of the draft without a first-round pick, there are still a lot of questions to be asked headed into it.

Will the Panthers make a move to clear cap space?

Can Florida afford to bring back pieces like Giroux and Marchment?

Who likes bringing leftovers to practice?

You guys asked and we answered.

In this iteration of the FHN Mailbag, I get to all of your pressing questions about the Panthers and their plans for this offseason.

Let’s get right to it.

Obviously, Ekblad is a core Panther but just curious – how much of a difference is there between him and Makar? Thanks! — Ian Payner

This is an intriguing question for a couple of reasons.

For one, Aaron Ekblad has had spurts of being one of the best defensemen in the league over the past few seasons, but injuries held him from having a full season at that level.

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