The Panthers edge ever closer to their opening night roster. George Richards is reporting on Twitter that the Panthers have made a couple of moves before the final preseason game, tonight's game against the Lightning. As expected, forward Brad Boyes and defenseman Tom Gilbert have both been signed to one-year deals. In addition, enforcer Krys Barch will be back for a second stint with the club. The Cats traded Scott Timmins and a sixth round pick to the New Jersey Devils for Krys Barch and a seventh round pick.
Timmins played nineteen games for the Panthers in his rookie season, Pete DeBoer's final year as coach, but only played five games for Kevin Dineen. Timmins is headed to DeBoer's Devils where, presumably, he has a better shot to make the team. Timmins is the latest of several former Panthers to join the Devils since DeBoer became the coach, including Steve Bernier, Ryan Carter, and Rostislav Olesz.
Barch played 41 games for the Panthers in 2011-12 after being traded from the Dallas Stars, racking up two goals, three assists and 91 penalty minutes. He had 44 penalty minutes in 22 games for the Devils in last year's shortened season.
The trade will have less immediate effect on the team than the two signings. Former Bruin and Blue Boyes was a thirty goal scorer for the Blues a few years back, but more recently has been closer to fifteen a season. He had ten for the Islanders last season. TSN is reporting that Boyes' contract is for $1 million. Gilbert, who was bought out by the Wild this summer, should provide some offense on the back end. He averages about five goals and twenty assists a season.
The Panthers have 28 players on the roster ahead of tonight's game, but are expected to put four of them, Ed Jovanovski, Sean Bergenheim, Nick Bjugstad, and Scott Clemmensen, on injured reserve. One more, Steve Pinizzotto, is hurt but probably AHL bound when he's healthy. So in theory, the team has their 23 man opening night roster. However, Dale Tallon has stated that he's still watching the waiver wire and seeing who else is available, so expect a few more changes before Thursday's night's opener in Dallas.