Florida Panthers RFAs - Part 2 of 2: Who will stay and who will go?

Welcome back folks! Last time we discussed the RFAs on the Panther's 2010-2011 primary regular season roster. This time around, we're going to look at the RFAs in the Panthers' system, including NCAA players, AHL players and others whose RFA status kicks in during the coming free agency period.

Read on!

Kenndal McArdle Position: Left Wing 2010 Cap Hit: $803,250

Under coach Peter DeBoer, McArdle had a lot of issues cracking the Panthers lineup on a consistent basis. McArdle saw a fair amount of NHL games in a Panthers sweater thanks to consistent injuries in the Panthers regular lineup. He never really lived up to his scoring potential coming out of juniors, but evolved well into a hard-working checking forward who was looking to stick around in the NHL until an untimely shoulder injury. There is a small chance Tallon will re-sign McArdle as he fits the big, fast, hard-working forward mentality of Tallon's "blueprint", but only if the price is right.

Likelihood to be re-signed: Medium

Tim Kennedy Position: Right Wing 2010 Cap Hit: $550,000

Due to some crazy waiver shenanigans, Kennedy didn't see much time for the Panthers last season. After posting solid numbers in Buffalo during his rookie season in 2009, Kennedy spent time in the Rangers system last season before being acquired as a part of the Bryan McCabe trade. A smart, shifty player, he has a fair amount of offensive potential and depending on the system, he could be a great fit for Florida next season. Kennedy will likely be brought back and if he isn't able to make the team out of camp, he will be a very solid AHL call-up for the Cats if injuries strike.

Likelihood to be re-signed: High

Mike Duco Position: Left Wing 2010 Cap Hit: $550,000

DeBoer was familiar with Duco from their time together in Kitchener, and saw some time as a Panther over the last couple of seasons, but wasn't able to lock down a roster spot permanently. Duco is a smaller forward but plays a very big game, as he doesn't shy away from the physical aspect of the game. He shares some traits with infamous pest Sean Avery in that he is a high-energy player who works hard and gets underneath other player's skin. Will he fit into the Panthers scheme long-term? Maybe. Will he continue to be a valuable depth player in the AHL? Definitely. Expect to see him re-signed.

Likelihood to be re-signed: High

Brady Calla Position: Right Wing 2010 Cap Hit: $603,333

Calla is a third round draft pick of the Panthers back in 2006, and has yet to see an NHL game. Calla has been a solid character player in the minors, but is not likely to see the NHL on a permanent basis, as his skill set has yet to translate to the NHL game. Don't expect to see him re-signed.

Likelihood to be re-signed: Low

Jordan Knackstedt Position: Right Wing 2010 Cap Hit: $572,500

With the amount of depth being developed in the Panthers system, Knackstedt is going to have a tough time establishing himself as an option for the Panthers next season. However, he is a solid depth player in the minors for Florida, and Tallon and Santos are looking to keep their future AHL affiliate stocked and competitive.

Likelihood to be re-signed: Medium

Carl Hudson Position: Defense 2010 Cap Hit: $535,000

Hudson was signed during last season's free agency period as yet another defensive depth signing for the Amerks. Hudson is a tough-as-nails defenseman who isn't afraid to scrap and has established himself as a solid teammate. With all of the solid draft picks from last season's draft possibly making the roster on the next AHL affiliate for the Panthers, there may not be much room for Hudson.

Likelihood to be re-signed: Low

T.J. Fast Position: Defense 2010 Cap Hit: $668,333

A former second-round pick by the Los Angeles Kings, Fast was drafted in 2005 and has yet to play an NHL game. Again, with all of the incoming defensive depth from recent and upcoming drafts, don't expect to see TJ re-signed.

Likelihood to be re-signed: Low

Michael Caruso Position: Defense 2010 Cap Hit: $587,500

A solid performer for the Amerks the last several seasons, Caruso will see a chance to perform in the Panthers rookie camp again this summer if he is re-signed. If he is unable to make the roster, expect to see him stick around in the AHL again with the Panthers next affiliate.

Likelihood to be re-signed: Medium

James DeLory Position: Defense 2010 Cap Hit: $556,667

A huge physical presence, DeLory is likely to stay in the AHL. He has yet to show any progress towards being able to play the NHL game. Don't expect to see him re-signed.

Likelihood to be re-signed: Low

Tyler Plante Position: Goalie 2010 Cap Hit: $687,500

Tallon has a real tough choice in regards to Plante. If the Panthers are able to re-sign UFA Tomas Vokoun, Plante may no longer be needed in the Panthers system, despite a pretty solid last two seasons for Rochester. It's likely that if Vokoun is re-signed, Scott Clemmensen and Vokoun will reprise their role as the Panthers starters, top prospect Jakob Markstrom will start in the AHL, and All-American collegiate goaltender Marc Cheverie could be Markstrom's backup. However, you can never have too many solid goalies in your organization, so I would expect to see Plante brought back, or possibly traded before or during the draft for additional picks.

Likelihood to be re-signed: Medium

Marc Cheverie Position: Goalie 2010 Cap Hit: $956,250

Cheverie has had a very solid college career so far, and saw some time with Rochester last season. He is likely the second-best goaltender in the organization's farm system right now, and it is very likely he will be re-signed and be given a spot on the next AHL team the Panthers are affiliated with.

Likelihood to be re-signed: High

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