A few days ago, my co-writer Alex wrote a piece on how he thinks the Panthers have a chance to make the playoffs. They don’t have much of a chance. I’m sorry Alex. So here I am going to refute Alex’s article and explain my reasons.
Alex thinks the Panthers have a chance at making a run to the playoffs because of the phenomenal play by James Reimer. However, Alex also points out that we need to acquire a big time player at the deadline. With Dale Tallon saying that the only way they make a big move is if it benefits the team longterm. Tallon might be doing this as rentals Jiri Hudler and Teddy Purcell didn’t help a couple years ago. Tallon would be hesitant to make a big trade. Alex points out that Erik Karlsson would be a viable option. He wouldn’t. Karlsson is a right handed defenseman. Aaron Ekblad is a right hander. Mark Pysyk, Alex Petrovic and Mackenzie Weegar are all right handed. The only one of those four who might get traded is Petrovic. Also Karlsson would require a boatload of draft picks and high end prospects. The worst part is that Karlsson is a free agent in the 2019 offseason. This move would cripple the team long term, especially if Karlsson doesn’t make a difference with the team. It is unlikely Karlsson will resign with the Panthers or that Ottawa would trade him to a division rival. I honestly think if he were traded it would be to a team like Colorado. This move doesn’t make sense longterm.
However, Karlsson’s teammate Mike Hoffman is a great option. The former 29 goal scorer can help find a true second line winger for Vincent Trocheck and is signed until 2020. Hoffman is a great option to help keep the team afloat while they let several prospects develop, before we will likely ship him off at the 2020 deadline.
Hoffman won’t be enough. Hoffman only has 29 points this year in 43 games. While Hoffman does make sense, he won’t push the Panthers to the playoffs. James Reimer is due for a crash after riding a hot streak and there is no guarantee Roberto Luongo will play at the same level he did before he got injured. Honestly, it would be best to tank at this point and try our luck at getting Rasmus Dahlin, who is the best defenseman to enter the draft since Drew Doughty. The way this team has played and with the standings, there is little to no chance that they make the postseason. Alex it’s your move.