Cats Offseason Part 2: The Players

Recently we took a look at the changes that the Florida Panthers made in their office and coaching staff. Now it is time to look at the changes that those people have made with trades and signings.

First was the major signing of Mike Matheson and Colton Sceviour for Patric Hornqvist. I am excited to have a player of Hornqvist’s caliber on the team now. Since being drafted in 2005, he has recorded 480 points in 770 games and 46 points in 90 playoff games. He was also apart of bringing two Stanley Cups to Pittsburg. He also plays quite the physical game; leading Penguins forwards in hits on two different occasions. His physical play will bring a needed edge to the Panthers; along with his skill and experience. It was unfortunate to lose Matheson, but Patric Hornqvist will more than make up for the loss.

Cliff Pu, who was playing for the Springfield Thunderbirds, was traded for defenseman Markus Nutivaara from the Columbus Blue Jackets. A young player at only 26 and having only been drafted in 2015; it will be interesting to see how he develops and contributes to the Panthers organization.

We next made quite a few signings on October 9th. First we signed defenseman Radko Gudas to a three year contract. He has played in 479 games producing 120 points. In 2019, he led all Washington Capital defensemen in hits with 164 hits. I think he will be another welcomed physical player.

Next was forward Carter Verhaeghe; signed to a two year contract. Coming off being a part of the Stanley Cup winning Tampa Bay Lightning; he will be another player to watch and see how his play contributes to the Panthers.

We also signed forward Ryan Lomberg to a two year contract as well. Another young player at 25 has only played in 11 NHL games so far, but he scored 20 points in his 21 games with the AHL’s Stockton Heat. Those stats make me hopeful to see how he does for Florida.

Forward Alexander Wennberg was next signed to a one year contract. Wennberg has appeared in 415 NHL games recording 201 points. This includes the very successful season the Blue Jackets had in the 2018-2019 season. It will be interesting of we see some chemistry between Wennberg and Sergi Brobrovsky.

The final signing on this day was forward Vinnie Hinostroza was signed to a one year contract. Hinostroza has played in 246 NHL games, producing 100 points.

On October 21st we saw the Florida Panthers sign forward Scott Wilson to a one year contract. Wilson has appeared in 193 NHL games and played in 23 career NHL postseason games, all with the Penguins, recording six points over 20 games during the Penguins’ 2016-17 Stanley Cup championship run. Another player that we hope to see their post season experience transfer to some success for the Panthers.

The final big signing was the Panthers signing 2020 NHL All-Star Anthony Duclair. He has played in 353 career NHL regular season amassing 162 points (79-83-162). Last season Duclair posted career-highs in goals (23), shorthanded goals (2) and shots on goal (184). He also ranked second on the Senators in goals (23), third in even-strength goals (16) and tied for first in power-play goals (5).

Overall a great off season for the Florida Panthers. I would’ve liked to have seen more defensemen signed, but I think we did get a good combination of scorers, physical players, and all round skaters. These moves make me very excited to see how the Cats do this upcoming season.

How do you feel the Panthers did this offseason? Leave a comment and let us know.

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