For the sake of choosing a cap-crunched team other than the St. Louis Blues, the Florida Panthers also desperately need help on their blueline. Their heroic run to the Stanley Cup finals whittled away after injuries and lack of depth at both ends of the ice caught up to them. In terms of cap space, the Panthers are actually in decent shape, with $10 million in the bank to spend on mostly depth players. However, the Panthers probably don’t want to run it back with Marc Staal as their second pairing left defenseman, as he will turn 37 in January and already lost several steps in his game over the last few years. Josh Mahura played well, too, but he was a waiver claim, and is probably best suited for more sheltered minutes anyway. Travis Sanheim could give the Panthers a dependable option behind Gustav Forsling, and perhaps the Philadelphia Flyers could do the Panthers a solid on the way.
Sergei Bobrovsky is signed for three more years at a mammoth $10 million per year, and the Florida Panthers recently received good news that Spencer Knight is expected back this season and will exit the NHLPA Player Assistance Program. Panthers GM Bill Zito said on June 21 that “[Knight] is doing well and we expect him back in the fold in the fall. We talk, text pretty frequently”. If Knight is truly healthy and good to go, the Panthers could aggressively shop their Cup run hero Bobrovsky. How about the place it all began for ‘Bob’?
If Daniel Briere is willing to take on Sergei Bobrovsky’s full salary, a potential offer to Florida might include Travis Sanheim and a third-round pick. The Panthers do not have a third-round pick, but they do have a second-round pick. To sweeten the deal for Philadelphia, the Panthers might also add their second-round pick and a prospect, like Mackie Samoskevich. Adding Samoskevich might seem rich, but the Panthers’ Cup window is clearly open. By ridding themselves of Bobrovsky and his albatross contract, they would create nearly $4 million in cap space whilst addressing one of their greatest needs for the long-term.
Sergei Bobrovsky by himself wouldn’t add much to the table for the Flyers, but it would be a feel-good story to help pass time on the Flyers’ rebuild.