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Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

Welcome to the Neno's Place!

Neno's Place Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality


Neno

I can be reached by phone or text 8am-7pm cst 972-768-9772 or, once joining the board I can be reached by a (PM) Private Message.

Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

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Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

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    Florida Panthers

    jedi17
    jedi17
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     Florida Panthers Empty Florida Panthers

    Post by jedi17 Tue 20 Jun 2017, 7:47 pm

    Hard Decisions
    June 18, 2017, 4:28 PM ET [13 Comments]
    Dan Spiegel
    Florida Panthers Blogger • RSS • Archive • CONTACT


    GM Dale Tallon had several no-brainers to protect. Aleksander Barkov, Vincent Trocheck, Jonathan Huberdeau, Keith Yandle, Aaron Ekblad, and James Reimer were locks.

    Then there were tough choices.

    Nick Bjugstad, Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith, Alex Petrovic, Jason Demers, and Mark Pysyk were the names creating pro and con arguments amongst Panther Nation.

    Choosing the 4-4-1 format made sense for the Panthers, and ultimately they decided Petrovic and Pysyk were too important to expose moving forward. Surely having new coach Bob Boughner to mentor the defensive core had much to do with keeping both instead of exposing one or the other like many expected.

    The forwards likely caused more angst amongst Panthers management because a case could be made for and against Bjugstad, Smith, and Marchessault.

    Bjugstad is the biggest player on the team, but his scoring has declined and he has been quite injury-prone in his four full seasons as a professional. 6'6", 220 lbs centers don't grow on trees, and it was only two seasons ago that he lead the team in scoring.

    Marchessault is coming off a 30-goal season and was far and away the best free agent signing in the league last summer. His two-year, $1.5 million contract is an absolute steal, and it would be hard for Vegas to say know to such a cheap sniper.

    Reilly Smith is coming off a roller coaster of a year that by and large was a huge disappointment. He cashed in on 25 goals during the 2015-16 season with a five year, $25 million contract. Of all the players that didn't appreciate or play hard for Tom Rowe, Smith was the poster child. So much so that Rowe publicly called him out during a post game press conference, leading to the locker room being lost for good. Smith often looked disinterested and a new coach should make all the difference in his game. At his price point and coming off an inconsistent year, it would be hard to imagine Vegas being seriously interested.

    At the end of the day Tallon chose Bjugstad to be protected, leaving their leading scorer from last season in Marchessault available.

    The media will be on a teleconference with Tallon Thursday morning, but the thinking must be that if Marchessault were to have another big year, he would demand big money next summer as a free agent.

    However, Tallon has been quoted over and over again as needing a 30-goal scorer in his lineup. He has one, for cheap, and likely just let him walk out the door.

    Next summer is next summer. Surely keeping him around for next season is a worthy gamble, but for the future keeping both Pysyk and Petrovic became a priority.

    Jason Demers, coming off his first season with the Panthers that in many ways was a disappointment, was also left exposed. He could be tempting for Vegas, and would be the best case for Florida if selected to keep the offense in tact.

    Tallon can't be criticized too much for working from the back end out, as the defense was the most inconsistent unit last season.

    No one knows Florida's roster better than Vegas' Gerard Gallant, who was unceremoniously fired last fall. Gallant is a solid guy and likely doesn't have it in him to convince George McPhee to hurt Florida by taking Luongo. The practical choice is Marchessault and Panther fans should brace themselves to lose him.

    Perhaps Smith is someone Gallant thinks he can build around and might make him the surprise pick, but it's unlikely with how inexpensive Marchessault is in relation to what he brings to the table.

    While the decisions were likely difficult, Tallon did well maintaining the balance between offense and defense. A healthy Huberdeau and Barkov would go a long way towards offsetting some of the offense lost if Marchessault heads west.

    Every team was in a pickle with particular players whether it was because of money or having too many good players. Either way Marchessault and/or Smith will still be a Panther, and the defense should be stacked.

    While a tough week for everyone in the league, Tallon and Co. should feel pretty good for where they stand today, no matter what the next few days reveal.

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