The Florida Panthers made a few small moves at the trade deadline, but injuries kept them from making some of the bigger moves they may have hoped to make. The team placed Mike Santorelli on waivers, and traded Jerred Smithson to the Edmonton Oilers. While Kris Versteeg might have been an attractive piece to move at the deadline, he has been sidelined with a knee injury. The same can be said for center Stephen Weiss, who is out for the rest of the season with a wrist injury, ending the Panthers chances of getting a few future pieces in return for his services. As the Panthers finish out a disappointing season this month, they will no doubt start looking to an offseason that will require some roster moves.
Santorelli was claimed by the Winnipeg Jets, a Southeast Division rival of the Panthers. In 24 games with Florida this season he had scored two goals and added one assist. He has 33 goals and 58 points in 198 career games. Smithson had two goals and five points for the Panthers this season, and joins an Oilers team that is fighting for a playoff spot. In 578 career games, he has 38 goals and 95 points. The Panthers received a fourth-round pick in the 2013 draft.
The Panthers sit dead-last in the Eastern Conference, so there was no way they were going to try and bring players in. Unfortunately, the injury situation prevented them from getting rid of some of their more expensive players as they try and build for the future. They should have a high draft pick in this summer’s loaded entry draft, which should help add another young star that can play with rookie sensation Jonathan Huberdeau and recently-signed 2010 first-rounder Nick Bjugstad.