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Salary cap likely forcing the Panthers to move a veteran leader


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Matt Garland
June 11, 2022  (9:27)
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Looking at the Florida Panthers cap situation things are very tight with a little over $3,000,000 available per Capfriendly. If Florida would like to sign any of their better UFAs like Claude Giroux, Mason Marchment, or Ben Chiarot some roster moves will need to be made.

Out of the three Giroux might be the most realistic option to come back. Giroux and his agent Pat Brisson told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun that there is a desire to stay with the Panthers if possible, and General Manager Bill Zito confirmed that he hopes to find a way to make it happen.
Hockey Insider, Frank Seravalli has now reported, veteran Patric Hornqvist is no longer a player that the Panthers can afford to keep.
Hornqvist had his role diminished in the lineup this season. During the 2020-2021 he played more of a top 9 role for the Panthers compared to this past reason Head Coach Andrew Brunette played Hornqvist mostly on the fourth line. His Ice time dipped from an average of 16:47 to 12:40.
The former #230 overall pick in the 2005 Draft is well liked in the Panthers locker room. Captain Alexander Barkov spoke on what Hornqvist brings to the team.
«What he brings to this team is the work ethic and wanting to be better every practice. Every drill we do, that's how he has been. And it doesn't matter what time of the year it is — be it the first day of summer after the season, he's going 110 percent.

«It has been an unbelievable two years with him. He has taught me a lot of stuff. I have learned a lot from him. He is one of a kind and that is exactly the guy you want to have on your team.»

Hornqvist is on the books for one more season at a cap hit of $5,300,000. No matter how liked Hornqvist is in the locker room it's a necessity for his cap hit to come off the books so they can improve the roster for next season.
The question will be what kind of sweetener will Panthers' GM Bill Zito have to add to make a Hornqvist trade happen. Florida doesn't have a first round pick in the next three drafts. They only have one second round pick in that time frame in 2023. With picks scarce Zito may have to dip into his prospect pool to make a deal happen.
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Salary cap likely forcing the Panthers to move a veteran leader

How will GM Bill Zito handle Patric Hornqvist this offseason?

Trade with a decent prospect included4138.3 %
Buy Out4340.2 %
Play out his final year and let UFAs walk2321.5 %
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