The Florida Panthers made their first big addition before the NHL Trade Deadline comes on Monday afternoon, acquiring defenseman Brandon Montour from the Buffalo Sabres.
Florida got a top-four defenseman they had targeted for the price of a third-round draft pick.
Shane O’Brien was the first with the news.
Florida plays in Dallas today at 2 p.m.
Joel Quenneville said he expects Lucas Wallmark and Lucas Carlsson — who were acquired in the Brett Connolly trade Thursday — to meet the team in Tampa.
One one think that timeline fits for Montour as well.
“I know he’s a pretty skilled defenseman,” Sasha Barkov said on Saturday.
“He can help us with the puck and the offensive game. He moves the puck pretty well. A good addition and I’m looking forward to seeing him soon.”
Montour, who turns 27 on Sunday, was acquired by the Sabres from Anaheim at the Trade Deadline two years ago for Brendan Guhle and a first-round pick.
Montour can be an unrestricted free agent following this season.
He is expected to either join MacKenzie Weegar on the top pair or, if the Panthers keep Weegar with Gus Forsling, he could pair with Radko Gudas.
— Shane O'Brien (@ShaneOBrien55) April 10, 2021
Unless the Panthers add another defenseman by the deadline, of course.
Montour is a right-handed shot who brings some offense (five goals, 14 points in 38 games with the Sabres this season) as well as decent defensive play.
He was also a teammate of Frank Vatrano at UMass during the 2014-15 season.
Florida was thought to have interest in bringing in Columbus defenseman David Savard but with the acquisition of Montour, GM Bill Zito may just add a depth defenseman before the deadline.
As of now, Carlsson is expected to start with Florida on a taxi squad that, at least right now, only has Brady Keeper on D as Kevin Connauton was brought up to the main roster and played Saturday.
Florida currently has eight defenseman on the active roster; it is playing seven with Markus Nutivaara scratched today.
It has added two this week.
The Panthers also have former Montreal prospect Noah Juulsen on the IR.