One team we haven’t examined much this season when it come to trades is the Florida Panthers. Part of the reason might be because they’ve consistently been a playoff team this season and the expectation is they won’t be selling off pieces.
That doesn’t mean they won’t make a move.
Pierre LeBrun explained during Tuesday’s Insider Trading segment that the Panthers have asked forward Mike Hoffman to submit his no-trade list in preparation for a move prior to the February 24 NHL Trade Deadline. The idea in asking him for his list is that Florida sees the potential need to improve their defense and can make a forward expendable since they are such a potent offensive team.
LeBrun noted that the Panthers aren’t willing to upset the roster or rock the boat but explained:
“The bottom line is Florida needs a defensive addition on the backend. That’s what would make it happen. It doesn’t mean they’ll move him, this could be something that plays out until the end of the year.”
Who Might Be Interested in Hoffman?
LeBrun believes the Edmonton Oilers could be a team to watch here. He doesn’t have it on any sort of good authority that the Oilers have even kicked tires but the pieces fit.
The Oilers are looking for a top-six winger and Hoffman fits there. The Oilers don’t want a player with a hefty salary on any kind of term considering their salary cap issues over the next two seasons. Hoffman is a free agent at the end of the year. James Neal is currently hurt and Edmonton is fighting for their Pacific Division playoff lives.
What would the Oilers need to give back?
GM of the Panthers, Dale Tallon, spoke to Mike Zeisberger of NHL.com and explained he’s looking for another defenseman for a very specific role:
I’d like to acquire a veteran D if I could to play with [Aaron] Ekblad and settle things down a bit back there. We need to be more consistent on the blue line.
Could that mean a player like Kris Russell? Would the Panthers be willing to take on that kind of salary over this season and next? While the Oilers might not want to move Russell it does give them some money to look at Darnell Nurse’s extension being more than a bridge deal.
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