Last week, we wondered whether the Florida Panthers would make a run at high-profile free agent Vladimir Tarasenko.
According to longtime St. Louis Blues writer Jeremy Rutherford, they did.
Tarasenko, who played his entire career in St. Louis before being traded to the Rangers at the deadline, ended up signing a one-year deal with Ottawa worth $5 million after turning down an offer from the Panthers.
Florida — as we speculated — could not match that kind of money being so close to the salary cap.
So, Tarasenko made his choice and is off to the Sens.
According to Rutherford, Tarasenko also turned down an offer from one other contender in Carolina as well as one from the rebuilding San Jose Sharks.
If Ottawa is a playoff contender this coming season, Tarasenko could be a big help.
And, if they are not, he will likely be flipped to a team that is. Regardless, if Tarasenko does not stay with Ottawa, he still gets a chance at a bigger deal next summer when the salary cap potentially goes up by a few million.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW
Got a pressing question about the Florida Panthers — or anything else?
The July edition of the FHN Mailbag is open where I will try and answer anything you may be wondering about.
To get your questions in, just leave them in the comments section here, in the original story or use #AskGR on Twitter. Have them in by today at 4 p.m. for publication on Sunday morning.
— Get ready to party! Next Saturday, the Innfield in Sunrise will be hosting its annual ‘unofficial’ Florida Panthers Fan Appreciation Party.
The Innfield, located at 11439 West Oakland Park Boulevard, will start things off on Aug. 5 at 8 p.m.
We will have past Panthers postseason games on the televisions, plenty of Panthers talk and a raffle for those of you wearing Panthers gear.
Oh, and they will be food and drink specials as well.
See y’all there.
— The Panthers will be celebrating 30 years of NHL hockey in South Florida all season long.
— Eetu Luostarinen will remain with the Panthers for the next four years after signing a three-year contract extension worth $3 million annually on Tuesday. Luostarinen, who is signed for $1.5 million this coming season, will be an unrestricted free agent following the end of this deal.
— Sportnet.ca came out with its mid-summer power rankingsand do not have the Panthers in their top 10. Where are they? Not far from No. 10.
— One year ago, the Panthers pulled off a mid-summer blockbuster by sending Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar to Calgary in exchange for Matthew Tkachuk. Not a bad first year.
— Aleksi Heponiemi will not be playing for the Panthers this season — or the Charlotte Checkers, either — after signing a one-year deal in Switzerland.
— Oliver Ekman-Larsson says he is healthy after breaking his foot twice in the past year and he will be walking into a great opportunity with the Panthers.
— Ryan Lomberg says his broken thumb, the one which needed surgery during the opening round against the Bruins, is all healed and he is ready for camp to get going.
NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
The Pittsburgh Penguins keep trying to improve their core but those hopes continue to fade.
Tarasenko would have been a good start. Perhaps Erik Karlsson would help. We’ll see.
— The Philadelphia Flyers have been making one deal after another but Owen Tippett should be one of their untouchables.
— The Boston Bruins and goalie Jeremy Swayman are apparently still a few million apart in their contract negotiations.
— No surprise here, but the Bruins will retire the No. 37 worn by Patrice Bergeron this season.
— The impact Rocky Wirtz had on the Blackhawks is simply immeasurable.
— So, what is Karlsson’s trade value? The San Jose Sharks are finding out.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
- Now: Free agency period is open
- Saturday, Aug. 5: Unofficial Florida Panthers Fan Appreciation Party at the Innfield, Sunrise
- Mid-September: Training Camp, South Florida
- Sept. 25: Preseason starts; Doubleheader v. Nashville @ Sunrise
- Oct. 7: Preseason ends; v. Tampa Bay Lightning @ Sunrise
- Oct. 12: Start of 2023-24 Regular Season at Minnesota Wild
- Oct. 19: 2023-24 Home Opener vs. Toronto Maple Leafs