The Florida Panthers are not going to make the playoffs this year. While they aren’t mathematically eliminated yet, it seems like it’s only a matter of time until they fall below that cutoff. Don’t expect a fire sale to ensure as the regular season winds down toward the trade deadline.
Interim head coach Peter Horachek spoke to George Richards of The Miami Herald and expressed his desire to keep the team intact:
I don’t really want any draft picks. They don’t do me any good. I want to win these games, I want the guys to care about winning these games. I want the guys to put it on the line whether we have an opportunity or mathematically out. I want to make sure we care about winning these games.
That’s some strong phrasing from Horachek, but general manager Dale Tallon seems to be of the same mind. As per the Herald:
We’re going to do what’s best for the Panthers to build a championship team. We’re not blowing this thing up. If we can sell some assets to get better, we’ll do that. It depends what happens in the next few weeks. We’ll be aggressive either way.
That sets up an interesting situation for the Panthers heading into the trade deadline. They brought three players in during training camp on a tryout basis—Tim Thomas, Brad Boyes and Tom Gilbert—and signed all three to one-year pacts. The trio have been solid in their own ways, and Tallon could hypothetically move them for a solid return.
It doesn’t seem that the manager or coach have any intentions of breaking down the Panthers though.