It looks like the Panthers are going for it.
They acquired Jiri Hudler from the Calgary Flames for a second and fourth-round pick. The second-round pick is from the 2016 draft, while the fourth-round pick is going to be from the 2018 draft. In addition to that trade, they acquired Teddy Purcell of the Edmonton Oilers for a third-round pick. If you thought the Panthers were done, you would be wrong as they acquired Jakub Kindl from the Detroit Red Wings for a 2017 sixth-round pick. The Red Wings also retained 15% of Kindl’s salary this year.
Hudler will be a UFA after this season and is making $4 million against the cap, a number the Panthers can easily fit under the cap this year. This puts Hudler, a Czech born player with another great Czech, Jaromir Jagr. That tandem may not skate on the same line, but nonetheless it should be awfully fun.
As you can see in the chart below, Hudler is exactly the type of deadline pick up you want. He brings scoring punch with a fair bit of skill.
Hudler has 35 points on the season, a major step back from his career setting year he had with the Flames last year where he scored 76 points. This may seem like a high price to pay, but if they can even get a sliver of similar production from him, they should be quite happy. The Flames on the other hand are trying to build towards the future and with this, it brings a lot of value for a UFA that could have walked away for nothing.
Purcell may not be the flashiest pick up in the world but he is a good depth acquisition and will bring additional scoring to a Panthers team looking to add what they can. Playing with a team like Oilers hasn’t been beneficial for his play but he has shown with teams like the Lightning that he can still play.
Kindl has been bouncing back and forth between the NHL and AHL this year. He no longer had a spot on the Red Wings and was looking for a change of scenery, though a spot isn’t guaranteed with the Panthers. It is better to be on a contender than a pretender, eh?
The Panthers are going for it and are making sure the rest of the league knows it. They are more than willing to spend and are impressing along the way. Mind you they may not be done just yet, the deadline is Monday and the Panthers could add even more. What a scary proposition that could be.