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Florida Panthers Trade for Tarasenko; Bill Zito Not Done Yet



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Florida Panthers GM Bill Zito speaks during a news conference on June 21 in Sunrise. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

The Florida Panthers made a big addition to their team on Wednesday morning, acquiring Ottawa forward Vladimir Tarasenko before Friday’s 3 p.m. NHL Trade Deadline.

General manager Bill Zito is not done just yet.

With Ottawa retaining 50 percent of Tarasenko’s $5 million cap hit, the Panthers currently have about $3 million remaining.

The Panthers are expected to place Will Lockwood on waivers today allowing Tarasenko to take Florida’s 23rd spot.

Florida plans on having Tarasenko in the lineup Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

So, what’s next?

The Panthers are always looking to upgrade their team and, getting a top-9 forward in Tarasenko does that.

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Tarasenko gives coach Paul Maurice a number of lineup options including on one of the two power play units.

But what else is Florida looking at?

Although the Panthers defense has been one of their strong suits, expect Florida to be on the market for another defenseman.

Florida has Josh Mahura as its No. 7, but, the Panthers are looking to add before the deadline.

The Panthers have been linked to Calgary defenseman Noah Hanifin, but the team’s limited draft stock always made that appear to be a little out of reach.

There are other d-men out there, including South Florida’s Jakob Chychrun although, again, that price tag is probably out of Florida’s range.

Matt Dumba in Arizona is said to be available and he may be in Florida’s price range — and, as a veteran right shot, could pique Florida’s interest.

Speaking of Peeke, how about Columbus defenseman Andrew?

Another South Florida product, Andrew Peeke is said to be on the market and Zito knows him well from their time with the Blue Jackets.

A big, shutdown defender at 6-foot-3, Peeke does not offer much offense (his goal Tuesday was his first since last season) but blocks shots and is a right shot.

Although Florida does not have much draft capital to deal with in the next few days, Zito has shown a willingness to move assets if it is for the right move.

The Panthers may have another big move coming.

Stay tuned.



  • When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Season Series — At Florida: Flyers 2, Panthers 1 (Feb 6); Thursday. At Philadelphia: March 24.  
  • Last Season: Philadelphia won 2-1
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Philadelphia leads 57-37-6, 7 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Saturday vs. Calgary, 4 p.m.

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