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Insider says Panthers are shopping former first overall pick Aaron Ekblad


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Cooper Godin
June 28, 2024  (8:08)
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Aaron Ekblad hoisting the Stanley Cup.
Photo credit: CHL

Fresh off their first Stanley Cup championship, the Florida Panthers are reportedly shopping one of the best players.

On Thursday night, David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period dropped a bit of a bombshell, saying that the Florida Panthers are shopping 2014 first overall pick Aaron Ekblad this summer.
Pagnotta went on to add that the Panthers have already talked with some teams about Ekblad's availability, as the defenceman is set to enter the final year of his contract in 2024-25.
According to multiple well-placed sources, the Panthers are shopping 2014 first-overall pick Aaron Ekblad, who is entering the final year of his contract, and have already had discussions with some teams about his availability." Pagnotta said.

While the Panthers may be shopping the blueliner, Pagnotta says that Ekblad's preference is to remain in South Florida with the Panthers and sign a contract extension, which he's eligible to do as early as Canada Day.
"It is my understanding his preference is to stay in South Florida and that he would be willing to take a «hometown discount» on an extension, but that hasn't prevented Panthers GM Bill Zito from exploring the trade market." Pagnotta said.

Ekblad, 28, has dealt with some injuries over the last number of years, but has still been a solid top-pairing defenceman over the course of his NHL career since making his debut ten years ago. In 51 regular season games this year, Ekblad had 18 points (four goals, 14 assists), 50 penalty minutes and was a plus-27. He went on to add six points in 22 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Moving Ekblad, who is set to earn $7.5 million next season, would be a big task for Panthers General Manager Bill Zito, but it could fetch Florida a pretty significant return.
Source: David Pagnotta/The Fourth Period
EKBLAD ON THE BLOCK AS PANTHERS SHOP BLUELINER
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Insider says Panthers are shopping former first overall pick Aaron Ekblad

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