Just because the NBA trade deadline came and went with little fanfare that does not mean that the NHL trade deadline also has to be a dud, right?
Last week we explored potential deals the Miami Heat could have made – but didn’t – so this week we’re calling on the help of some hockey aficionados to put on their general manager hats and gives us what their plans would be if they had complete control of the Florida Panthers.
Better act fast, though, the NHL trade deadline is March 1st.
Today’s plan comes from the mind of Miami Herald sportswriter George Richards.
Richards has covered the Panthers – and much more – for quite a while now and is the main author of the “On Frozen Pond” blog, so he knows his stuff.
“When the NBA trade deadline came and went last week, the Miami Heat felt best not to do anything just for the sake of doing something.
“I’m glad we didn’t do anything stupid,” Pat Riley said.
Well, the NHL’s trade deadline is Wednesday at 3 p.m. and while the Florida Panthers will probably do something, do not expect it come at the expense of any future plans.
Players whom the Panthers are counting on down the road won’t be shipped off just for the sake of doing something.
Dale Tallon, who has been here many times before, is working closely not only with assistant GMs Steve Werier and Eric Joyce but scouts throughout the organization who have been watching targeted players in person and in video sessions for weeks and months.
The Panthers made a flurry of moves before the deadline last year, grabbing up rental forwards Jiri Hudler and Teddy Purcell with the plan to shore up their third line as well as defenseman Jakub Kindl.
While the Panthers may add some forward depth for their bottom two lines, don’t expect them to touch their top two. Florida really likes its top six – as it should – but could tweak its bottom six.
On Monday, Florida lost Greg McKegg on waivers to the Lightning so expect the Panthers to try and find a replacement. The Panthers power play has been a longtime project so Florida is looking to help that out as well but won’t go crazy.
The asking price for players is especially steep this year with so many teams still in the hunt for a playoff spot. There aren’t many true sellers out there.
The Panthers say they are looking at every option to make their team better but, despite their recent three-game slide, they like the team they have and want to see what this team can do down the stretch.
This trade deadline day may be a boring one in South Florida, but that may not be a bad thing.
Just ask the Heat.”
Follow George Richards on Twitter @GeorgeRichards