I decided I’m gonna try to share my thoughts in a bulletin-point format on the Panthers in a new series I call Cat Scraps.
- Andrew Brunette’s statement about Aaron Ekblad’s health brought a sigh of relief to many Panther fans. Brunette said there was no structural damage, meaning no ligaments were torn, which would likely have meant a lengthy recovery, if not career-ending. Bruno’s statements on it not being like last year also seem to imply no fracture, but the team won’t know for sure until Ekblad is examined today.
- The Panthers won’t exactly be in a hurry to disclose the star defender’s status to the media w/ the deadline approaching. A long-term injury to the star defender would drive up prices for Bill Zito, who already paid a fortune for Ben Chiarot and is struggling to finalize a package for Claude Giroux.
- The fact the Panthers upped the ante on their offer to Philadelphia following the Brandon Hagel trade to Tampa seems to suggest that FLA is still targeting a top forward, rather than focusing on trying to plug in a hole left by Ekblad, which suggests that they don’t think the injury will be long term.
- I’m wondering if part of the reason for Ekblad not putting any weight on his leg was maybe he was scared that he broke it again and thought it was worse than it was. A few months after I recovered from a broken foot, I thought I broke it again when I twisted it at PE, but I was fine a few minutes later, but it didn’t stop me from having a massive panic attack. Only difference is that it was Ekblad’s right knee/leg that was hit whereas it was his left last year, and both my incidents occurred w/ the same foot. Also I’m not a pro athlete.
- With potentially both Ekblad and Hornqvist out, the Panthers have two alternate captains on the bench. The Panthers roll w/ a Captain (Barkov) and three alternates (Huberdeau, Ekblad and Hornqvist). Ekblad is always wearing an A, while Huberdeau wears the A at home and Hornqvist on the road. Hornqvist’s absence saw Huby wearing the A on his white jersey last night, so it seems that the NHL requires at least three players to wear a letter during a game. If both Ekblad and Hornqvist miss time, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Mackenzie Weegar wears an A. Weegar wore the A during the pandemic game w/ Hornqvist and Huberdeau, and is often seen as a leader of the team.
- The Claude Giroux trade will almost certainly include Owen Tippett. Other names being thrown around include Lucas Carlsson, Matt Kiersted, Eetu Luostarinen, Grigiori Denisenko and Mackie Samoskevich. Of course not all of those assets would be traded but definitely a few would go.
- As for the insider who will break a potential Giroux trade to FLA, I’m betting Kevin Weekes Sunday night at 9:15pm ET
- Another important note to remember is the Flyers aren’t necessarily rebuilding, they are ‘aggressively retooling’, whatever that means