The Florida Panthers are on the fringe of the playoff picture and they have their young talent to thank for the fact they’re in a position to compete for a postseason berth. That young talent has caught the eye of teams around the NHL and these clubs are hoping that they may be able pry some young skill out of the Sunshine State.
Would the Panthers be willing to deal some of their young guns, including Aleksander Barkov, Nick Bjugstad, Aaron Ekblad, Erik Gudbranson, Jonathan Huberdeau and Alex Petrovic? It’d take something pretty special for the Panthers to let go of Bjugstad, Ekblad and Huberdeau.
ProHockeyTalk transcribed head coach Gerard Gallant’s comments from CBS Radio Miami and Gallant says he’d be “shocked” to see the Panthers trade away a young player.
“I don’t foresee that happening. We’re staying the course. We’re going to play our young guys, because our young guys are playing real well and they’re a big part of our team. I’d be shocked if anything like that happens. You’d have to get an unbelievable offer, but we’re planning on doing this for the long haul.
The young guys are coming up. I don’t anticipate anybody being traded — any of our young players. We’d be shocked.”
It’s always important to keep in mind that every player is tradable if the right offer is extended. The Panthers may be planning to keep their young core, but that idea might be thrown out the window should a team make an offer they can’t refuse.
Realistically, the Panthers won’t – and shouldn’t – trade away any of their key young skaters. The Panthers may sneak into the playoffs this season, but the year isn’t a total loss even if they don’t. The club is much more competitive and in much better shape than many expected. By keeping their young guns in the fold, the Panthers may not be too far away from becoming a legitimate contender.