The struggling Florida Panthers, losers of three straight, still find themselves a mere two points behind the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning for one of the top two spots in the Discover Central Division on Deadline Day.
Carolina holds two games in hand on the Cats while the Bolts hold one.
With the Panthers still within striking distance of home-ice advantage for at least one (or two) rounds of the playoffs, how bold will new general manager Bill Zito before the trading halts at 3 p.m.?
Zito already added depth to his roster over the weekend by acquiring 27-year-old defenseman Brandon Montour from the Buffalo Sabres for a third round pick in 2021 and signing recently discarded New Jersey Devils forward Nikita Gusev for the remainder of the campaign.
Florida still has some cap space left to work with and in my humble opinion could definitely use an upgrade down the middle. Whether that’s adding a faceoff specialist like Luke Glendening or trying to reel in a bigger fish to take over centering the second line, which bumps Alex Wennberg down to 3C, is up for debate.
You can never have enough experienced defensemen, and the Panthers faltering power play could also use a goosing. Is a reunion with former sniper Mike Hoffman in the cards?
The key is not getting carried away and giving away too much of the future. It’s a buyers market so that shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
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