SUNRISE (CBSMiami/AP) — The NHL Trade Deadline, a day that is usually a busy one for the Florida Panthers, was anything but on Monday.READ MORE: Miami Man Offers To Assist MDPD Officers, Ends Up Being Accused Of Police Impersonation
They’re planning to make their noise in the next 19 games instead.
A day of constantly working the phones was fruitless before Monday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline, and Panthers general manager Dale Tallon wasn’t complaining. He’s convinced that deals he struck in the last few days — most notably the acquisition of future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr — were enough to significantly lift Florida’s shot at the playoffs.
“We did a lot of our work earlier, as most teams,” Tallon said. “There wasn’t a lot going on. … We knew today would be a quiet day.”
Maybe ‘quiet’ isn’t the right word, since Tallon spoke with probably all of his NHL peers over the course of the day.
But in the end, there was nothing left he thought was worth buying, and nothing on his roster that he felt like selling — although some clubs inquired about wingers Scottie Upshall and Tomas Kopecky, both of whom will be unrestricted free agents on July 1.
“I’m excited about our team,” Tallon said. “And our future’s pretty bright as well.”
The Panthers are two points behind Boston in the race for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Florida has 19 games left, Boston has 20 — and the teams will go head-to-head three times down the stretch, March 21 and April 9 at Florida and March 31 in Boston.READ MORE: Miami Beach, Key West Make Tripadvisor's 10 Ten List For U.S. Destinations
Jagr has been on the ice for two games after his acquisition from New Jersey last week. The Panthers won both games, scoring nine goals in that span and the 43-year-old was impressive.
He played alongside 21-year-old Jonathan Huberdeau and 19-year-old Aleksander Barkov.
“His presence in the locker room, the trust factor, it does create a lot of room for the other guys,” Tallon said. “It’s great to see the chemistry with himself and two guys who don’t add up to his age. Those kids are really psyched up.”
Tallon’s hopes were high after the Jagr trade.
After seeing the on-ice product with Jagr, they’re even higher now.
“I think the whole team is excited about it,” Tallon said. “I saw the energy level rise, the attitude changed in the locker room a little bit, the performance of the young guys playing with him, and his performance, pretty impressive. It gives us all a lot of optimism moving forward here in the last 19 games.”
NOTES: Florida plays host to Toronto on Tuesday. … D Willie Mitchell, who hasn’t played since Feb. 3, worked out Monday and is “close, very close” to a return, Tallon said. The same goes for C Dave Bolland, who has been out since Feb. 21 but is planning to go through a skating session on Tuesday. … Former 50-goal scorer Dany Heatley has reported to Florida’s AHL affiliate in San Antonio after a weekend trade with Anaheim. Tallon said he has a chance to be called up. “I’ve talked to Dany and I said ‘We’re going to give you an opportunity. If you go down there and lead and play well, you’ll get a shot,'” Tallon said.MORE NEWS: Officials: Florida Panther Struck, Killed By Vehicle
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