Florida Panthers Reportedly Shopping All-Star Goalie

Sergei Bobrovsky trade
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The Florida Panthers might be making a Sergei Bobrovsky trade this off-season. Sportsnet 590 and former NHLer Nick Kypreos is reporting the two-time Vezina Trophy winner may be on the move.

NHL free agent frenzy

Sergei Bobrovsky May be on Trade Block

Bobrovsky currently makes $10 million, but that deal came under previous general manager Dale Tallon. New general manager Bill Zito has done a great job constructing the Panthers’ roster into a contender. However, that Bobrovsky contract will likely hamstring them if it’s not offloaded.

Important players like Claude Giroux and Mason Marchment come up for new contracts when free agency starts next month. A new deal for Jonathan Huberdeau is also on the horizon at the end of the 2022-23 season. Zito is going to have a hard time finding the money for all these key pieces if he still has to pay for the full value.

However, Kypreos’ report added that the Panthers are willing to retain up to half ($5 million) of the salary to free up cap space. That $5 million can go a ways to help the Panthers keep some of their vital players. If Bobrovsky is on the market, there will be some suitors for him. However, the Panthers might have to throw in a sweetener or two to make the deal happen.

What it Means

A Bobrovsky trade means that Spencer Knight will likely become the top goalie for the Panthers. The 13th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft has shown some flashes of being a top goalie. However, he’s still only 21 years old and the team would likely go for a low-cost veteran in case Knight falters.

Bobrovsky reclaimed some of his form this season with Florida, but that price tag is still steep for a 37 year old. The Russian has four years left on his deal and that $5 million retained would be pretty much dead money on the cap. No one is going to take the full hit of Bobrovsky’s deal, so Zito is limited in options.

A team like the Edmonton Oilers is in need of an upgrade in goal, but will they have the money to make a deal work. The team still wants to bring back Evander Kane and keep some of its group together. We’ll see if Florida can make something happen around the start of the draft or before free agency.