Panthers Make Moves As Deadline Approaches

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by Brock, Apr 8, 2007.

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  1. Brock

    Brock Registered User

    Feb 27, 2002
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    Yesterday, the Florida Panthers announced three trades at a press conference before the club's 7-6 loss to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. Leaving the Panthers are John Leclair, Radek Martinek, and Joel Kwiatowski and joining the Panthers are Matt Bradley, Michael Ryan and Mike Weaver, as well as several draft picks.

    In the first trade, the Panthers traded winger John Leclair to the Calgary Flames in exchange for Matt Bradley, prospect Michael Ryan and a 4th round draft pick. Leclair signed as an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but did not help to push the Panthers ahead in the standings. "John came to us with a request to be traded to a team in the playoff race, because this is likely to be his last year before retirement. We wish him the best of luck in Calgary," said Panthers GM Brock Otten. Bradley will likely step onto the Panthers third line between Daniel Cleary and Fernando Pisani, while Ryan will compete for a roster spot next year.

    In the second trade, the Panthers sent defenseman Radek Martinek and Joel Kwiatowski to the New York Islanders for 4th round and 5th round draft picks. Both Martinek and Kwiatowski were set to be unrestricted free agents and not likely signing with the Panthers. This trade gives the Panthers a remarkable 7 4th round draft picks for the 2007 draft. "We think 4th's are very valuable because their is still a lot of talent remaining in that round. With that many, we also have a bargaining chip for perhaps acquiring a 3rd round draft pick. We have a lot of guys we like in that range," Otten said, when asked why he was accumulating so many 4th's.

    In the final trade, the Panthers managed to acquire defenseman Mike Weaver from the New York Rangers in exchange for a future 5th round draft pick. Weaver will step into the Panthers line up as the 6th defenseman. "We like Mike Weaver as a solid depth guy, and a guy we can expect to sign unlike Radek or Joel." Weaver is set to be an RFA and the Panthers are expected to begin contract negotiations with him.

    It is expected that the Panthers will now remain quiet as the deadline approaches. Any of the club's remaining unsigned unrestricted free agents have been dealt. "While I'm not saying we are done, because you never know what can happen. I am going to say that we have pretty much accomplished what we wanted to going into the deadline," said Otten.

    The Panthers will suit up next against the Boston Bruins tomorrow night, with new faces like Bradley and Weaver expected to be in the line up.

    Esteban Santour,
    Florida Post

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