The Florida Panthers have been extremely busy by acquiring two of the top targets before the NHL Trade Deadline hits Monday at 3 p.m.
On Saturday, the team completed a blockbuster deal with the Philadelphia Flyers for Claude Giroux.
There is no way the Panthers make another move, right?
If the Panthers expect to be without star defenseman Aaron Ekblad for an extended period of time, GM Bill Zito may keep working the phones scouring the market looking for defensive help before Monday afternoon.
It appeared Zito was done shopping for defense after signing Finnish free agent Petteri Lindbohm then trading two draft picks and a prospect for Ben Chiarot.
But that was before Ekblad got hurt Friday night.
As was the case last year, Ekblad sustained a leg injury just before the Trade Deadline hit.
The Panthers knew Ekblad needed surgery right away last March and Zito was able to pull in Brandon Montour from Buffalo (as well as Lucas Carlsson from Chicago while losing Riley Stillman) close to the deadline.
By acquiring Chiarot and Lindbohm — as well as already having Montour on the roster — Florida’s defense is already deeper than it was last year at the deadline.
The extent of Ekblad’s injury has not been made public although coach Andrew Brunette said following Friday’s game that it does not appear to be long-term and he should be OK.
Still. Zito may still be checking out what is out there.
So, which defenseman could the Panthers get at this deadline? What do they have left to give?
And, with the Panthers currently over the salary cap as the roster stands, how do they pull something off?
UPDATE: Today the Panthers put Ekblad on LTIR making them cap compliment and allowing them to acquire Robert Hagg from Buffalo for a sixth-round pick.
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