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Time for another FHN Florida Panthers Mailbag



Panthers Mailbag Florida

It’s now August and we’re creeping closer to the start of another Florida Panthers season. So, how about we open the Mailbag?

Here is last month’s Mailbag, which came before the expansion draft and Keith Yandle being bought out — among other things.

It has been a busy offseason so far for the Panthers.

Not only did we have the Yandle move, the Anton Stralman trade, the acquisition of Sam Reinhart but a lot of other moves as well.

There could be a couple of others on the way, but the big ones you know: The contract extension for Sasha Barkov and a new contract for Reinhart.

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Ya’ll know the drill by now: You got a question, I will answer it to the best of my abilities.

Leave your questions here in the comment section, on Twitter using the #AskGR hashtag or in the Facebook comments.

I will gather up all the questions in the coming days and publish the Q&A segment on Thursday.

Let’s see what happens between now and then.



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Robert Fisher

How come we didn’t address one of our glowing weaknesses—- size!!


Ok, I know Huberdeau has two years to go on his contract, but like Barkov this summer they can extend him next summer. With all these long term contracts signed this summer, Yandle’s buyout ballooning to over $5m next year and Barkov’s extension kicking in and he may double his present salary, how exactly are they going to take care of Huberdeau? Besides Cap Space being a problem, Huberdeau will be 30yo when his next contract kicks in. Don’t know if they would want or if it would be even smart to offer him a 7-8 year contract at that… Read more »

Matthew Kristal

I’m less worried about Huby from a sheer cap space point of view. The dead cap space from Yandle drops from 5.4MM to ~1.25MM in what would be the first year of Huberdeau’s new contract and Darling’s buyout comes off the books too. That’s over $5MM in cap space for that extension.

My biggest worry is how we fit Barkov’s extension in that first year. We’ll get the relief from Lu’s recapture penalty, but it’ll make things very tight unless several of the kids (Lundell, Gildon, etc) can crack the roster.

Frank Gualtieri

Really enjoy your coverage George! Two questions – where do things stand with Reinhart? Where do Acciari and Vatrano fit into their long term plans. Thanks!

Terence Graham

Hey George, thanks again for keeping us up to date with our Cats. Anything to the Chara rumors?

Larry Wilcox

What’s on your bucket list?


Hi George, definitely much more relieved with the results of this expansion draft over the last one. Was the plan always for Seattle to take Chris Dreidger or were there potentially other scenarios being considered that you may have been privy to?

Last edited 1 year ago by JerryS
Mark Weber

Leading up to the expansion draft, there were strong “insider” rumors that Frank Vatrano was in play for a trade to Seattle or elsewhere. Any insights? (Also, who gets #23, Verhaeghe or Reinhart??)


Of the young guys Denisenko, Hepponiemi, Maxim. Do any of these have a chance of being a
Regular this year? Does Kiersted have a chance to be a top 6 hit this year ? I agree with lucarel!
Gonna be some tough choices to make next year? Did not see any Chara rumors– what have you heard?
He would be a perfect fit for 6th or 7th D man. Very slow but would be great as a locker room guy,
And situational guy.


Were the Cats ever interested in Ryan Murray? Being a true LHD, and seeing his contract with the Avs, the fit was there at the right price IMO.

Rob Smith

On a macro level, do you think Viola is willing to spend to the cap for the foreseeable future if the team is contending? There have been murmurs of payroll cutting in past years.


Hey George,

What are the odds that Bob is moved out by next season? His cap hit is a huge burden when it comes to resigning Huberdeau in 2 years along with extensions to Barkov, Reinhart, Weegar, etc.

Do you think Zito is willing to part with the assets to move his contract as opposed to buying him out?


Bryan Geary

IIRC, The Panthers media rights with Fox Sports is up after this season. Hearing anything on what their media partner plan is?

Bob E.

Question is about filling 3C since Wennberg is off to Seattle. Do you think that Luostarinen will grow into the job as a playmaker for Tippet and Vatrano. Do you think that he is strong enough on defense having an extra year’s age and experience? Has he filled out that skinny frame just a bit?

Or do you think that the team will go in another direction?

Jimmy G

george, 3 questions. What’s the status with Aleksi Saarela ? Another Fin with one of the hardest shots in hockey. How about a Erik Gudbranson reunion. The Butcher could use some help, he’s available for the cheap & he’s a fan favorite ! . Lastly are the Panthers going to have a development camp ? Keep up the good work.


How will the panthers play out Bob & knight? Will they split time on the net or will Bob play majority of the games. Of course performance plays a big factor.

Frank Samper

How will the panthers play out the goaltenders? Will they split them or will Bob get majority of the games? Of course performance will play a factor.

Harry Lampley

In your many years of covering the Panthers, is this the best of times? Is this the most fun you have had?


I think I speak as all Panther fans that I am happy with how the expansion draft and normal draft played out.

Does the Florida factor (lack of income tax, less pressure from the media) help in extending Barky and the rest that they are willing to give a friendlier team discount?

2nd, who is the second loudest leader in the locker room besides Horny?

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