Welcome to the August edition of the FHN Florida Panthers Mailbag!
With the expansion and entry drafts over and most of the free agency moves completed, we are now in the dog days of the NHL summer.
At least this August feels pretty normal, right?
Usually, free agency opens July 1 and by the Fourth, everyone is on vacation.
This year, we went all the way through July with stuff to do but now it’s time for most of the hockey world to head to their “cottage on the lake” and kick back for a bit.
Still, there is work to be done — especially when it comes to the Panthers.
As we opened up the questions for this month’s Mailbag, a lot of you asked when the new contracts for Sasha Barkov and Sam Reinhart would be completed.
Others were wondering if the Panthers would be adding a veteran defenseman, perhaps on a cheap deal, to add some depth.
No questions about a third jersey, however.
I guess things aren’t completely back to normal.
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 (he may double his present salary) how exactly are they going to take care of Huberdeau? — Lucarel
Thanks for the question. I had to edit it down a little bit but Lucarel makes a great point in that Jonathan Huberdeau will be 30 when his new contract would kick in. So, if you give him a seven-year deal, he would be … well, y’all can do the math.
Again, Huberdeau has another year to play before an extension can be signed and if he puts up anything close to what he has produced over the past few seasons, he is going to get a big, fat raise.
I just don’t know if the Panthers can afford to be the team that gives it to him.