SUNRISE — The NHL Trade Deadline may not be the most exciting day on the league calendar this year if only because of all the deals already completed. The Florida Panthers have yet to make a move and, no one is sure exactly what Bill Zito & Co. is going to do.
The Panthers, as we note this morning, are in NHL purgatory at the moment.
They are too good to be where they are, yet here they sit four points outside of a playoff spot with 19 games remaining.
Florida’s only consistent play this season has been its inconsistent play.
The team has won three straight games only once but now, to make the playoffs, they probably need to win 15 of 19.
Not to mention Zito does not have any draft capital to improve his team nor the cap space to make any additions without subsequent subtractions.
Florida may end up moving a couple of their veteran players or just add a depth player — the Panthers sent Grigori Denisenko down clearing a roster spot and some money.
Not enough to match the headline-grabbing moves of last spring, mind you, but maybe enough to say they gave this team a chance to keep moving forward.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW
The Panthers lost to the rebuilding Nashville Predators 2-1 on Thursday night.
It was their second loss to the Preds in two weeks — which is completely unacceptable for a team fighting for a playoff spot.
Beating the Lightning and then losing to the Preds at home negates things.
- Florida was once again without the services of top centers Sasha Barkov and Sam Bennett. Maybe they’ll be back Saturday, maybe they won’t.
- The Panthers had a new goalie on the ice Wednesday as Roberto Luongo replaced Sergei Bobrovsky at practice. Luongo had not put on the goalie pads from his final game in 2019 until being asked to participate in the All-Star festivities. After the Skills competition, Luongo said he was open to getting back in net a little more often.
- Taking a trip down memory lane as we look at the best NHL Trade Deadline moves the Panthers have made. Some names to ponder: Jagr, Luongo and Sheppard.
- Paul Maurice says he believes the Panthers will not be sellers at the deadline. We’ll see.
- New video from Maurice, Ryan Lomberg and Brandon Montour from Thursday night in Sunrise is up on the FHN YouTube Channel. You can click the embedded videos below or click RIGHT HERE to see everything all in one place.
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NHL NEWS & NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
The Boston Bruins had themselves a day on Thursday.
Pretty good day in Boston — capped by the Bruins’ 7-1 win over the Sabres. Boston is not the fastest team to 100 points in NHL history as they have 101 points in 61 games.
- Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin got emotional when talking about Bertuzzi leaving for Boston.
- Marcus Johansson seemed surprised the Washington Capitals traded him to Minnesota.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins pulled out an overtime win in Tampa last night and this morning, they bring back Nick Bonino from the Sharks.
- The Blue Jackets did not have Jonathan Quick long as they flipped him to the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday.
- The Los Angeles Kings are still shocked to see their Quick not with them anymore.
- How has new San Jose Sharks GM Mike Grier done in his first deadline thus far?
- Some thoughts on the Colorado Avalanche going into the deadline.
- Jacob Markstrom looks good but the Calgary Flames lose to Toronto.
PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
- When: Saturday, 6 p.m.
- Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
- Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM 2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Season Series (Penguins lead 2-0): Pittsburgh 4, Panthers 2 (Dec. 15); Penguins 7, Panthers 6 OT (Jan. 24)
- Last season: Florida won 2-1
- All-time regular season series: Penguins lead 56-35-7, 4 ties
- Up Next for the Panthers: Tuesday vs. Vegas Golden Knights, 7 p.m.