Christian Rodriguez The Hockey Writers
Panthers Should Make More Moves Before the Trade Deadline
We’re less than a week away from the trade deadline, and Florida Panthers’ general manager Dale Tallon has made a trade that certainly looks like it won’t be the last one for the club before the 3 p.m. ET deadline on Monday.
Related: 20 Biggest NHL Trades in the Past Year
Denis Malgin has been traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for forward Mason Marchment. It’s a forward for forward trade, clearing up some cap space for the Panthers. Marchment is expected to report to the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Springfield Thunderbirds where he will add his Calder Cup-champion pedigree to a team looking to make a playoff run in the American Hockey League.
Tallon Adds Depth to the Organization
Marchment has appeared in both the NHL and AHL this season, recording one assist in four games with the Toronto Maple Leafs. In the AHL with the Maple Leafs’ affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, he had a total of 18 points in 24 games played with 13 goals and 5 assists.
The 6-foot-4 winger was a key part during the 2018 Calder Cup run with the Marlies, scoring 6 goals in 20 games. The trade comes after it was reported by TSN’s Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun, that Malgin wanted to be traded from Florida.
The Panthers have been very active as of late with their transactions as they have called up 23-year-old forward, Aleksi Saarela from Springfield who scored his first NHL goal in Wednesday’s win versus the Anaheim Ducks. This past Monday, forward Jayce Hawryluk was claimed off waivers by the Ottawa Senators, seeing the 24-year-old leave the Panthers who drafted him in second round of the 2014 draft.
Some of the players the Panthers were rumored to get, have already been acquired by other NHL teams without having to give up too much for a good return. Tallon has expressed his interest in getting a defenseman, which would definitely improve the blueline’s lack of keeping the puck out of the net.
Current Market for a Defenseman
The St. Louis Blues were able to get Marco Scandella from the Montreal Canadiens for a 2020 second-round pick and a conditional 2021 fourth-round pick. The Washington Capitals were able to acquire Brenden Dillon from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a 2020 second-round pick and 2021 conditional third-round pick.
The Vegas Golden Knights joined the trend of trading away picks for a defenseman acquiring Alec Martinez from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a 2020 second-round pick and a 2021 second-round pick.
Teams did not give a significant amount for these defensemen acquired before the deadline, as it makes one wonder if Tallon should’ve sacrificed some picks for their issue now as the market looks favorable for the Panthers. It’s this time of the year where contending teams look to improve their teams even more keeping in mind of the battles that will arise come playoff time.
Not to mention Vegas gets to keep Martinez for another season before he becomes an unrestricted free agent for the 2021-22 season. A very good trade that adds experience to Vegas’s defense and one that certainly helps Los Angeles’s rebuild.
Can Tallon Add That Missing Piece to This Roster?
Tallon should’ve already made a move like this as the window for an available defenseman keeps closing. He has to take the blueprint out of Vegas’s trade for Martinez and replicate that for the Panthers.
Vegas have added Martinez already to a defense consisting of Nate Schmidt, Shea Theodore, and not to mention already having an elite goaltender in Marc-Andre Fleury. Adding one more top four defenseman would be great for this Panthers team to play alongside Aaron Ekblad or Anton Stralman.
Tallon definitely has a tough job in the next couple of days in thinking if this team is good enough for a playoff run. There’s still over 20 games left to be played, but it’s the next couple of days where Tallon will have full control in determining what the roster will look like for the rest of the season.
The team is also not making it easy for him as they currently have a two game winning streak on their West Coast road trip. One of the players who scored Wednesday night against the Ducks was Vincent Trochek.
Trocheck on the Move?
Trocheck this year hasn’t produced much offensively like in his previous years when he was a consistent 20 goal scorer including a 31-goal season during the 2017-18 season.
He missed a significant amount of games due to injury last year which took a hit in his stats, but this year his numbers haven’t been good which is disappointing as a top six center on a team that has scored many goals this season.
LeBrun on TSN’s Insider Trading has said that the Panthers are listening to
offers for Vincent Trocheck, which means trading him may be a possibility and not mention Mike Hoffman falls into that category.
The Panthers should look at Minnesota Wild defenseman, Jonas Brodin which would make sense to trade for. Brodin is a top-4 left-handed defenseman who currently has a cap hit of $4.16 million with two years left on his deal.
Those two extra years make a significant impact in trying to acquire Brodin. The Panthers might have to offer maybe a second round pick along with Trochek for Brodin, as the Wild are looking to add center depth for their run at making it into the postseason.
“The Wild have expressed interest in Vincent Trocheck, the Florida Panthers No. 2 center,” said Michael Russo from The Athletic. “To me, when I connect the dots, there’s really only one guy that makes sense for the Florida Panthers if you’re gonna make a trade for Trocheck, and that is Jonas Brodin.”
“They need a first-pair left D to play with Aaron Ekblad, and to me, that would obviously be — if you’re gonna make this trade — I think that Brodin would be in it.”
The window for this Panthers core is around three-to-five years, so it would be ideal for the Panthers to make a move adding some experienced presence to this playoff hopeful team.
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