This season hasn’t been particularly easy for anyone associated with the Florida Panthers organization, but it really hasn’t been an easy one for Scottie Upshall. In fact, the last several years have been really rough for the former 2o-goal scorer.
Typically a guy good for putting in around 15 goals and perhaps 30 or so points, which is solid if you’re a bottom six forward like Upshall, the 29-year-old forward hasn’t done much of anything in two seasons with the Cats. Most of his issues are injury related, but not all.
Generally, he just hasn’t seen a lot of playing time. Some of that is due to the fact that he’s spent most of his time in South Beach on injured reserve. He played in just 26 games with the Panthers last year, his first with the organization, and has only played in 22 this year, missing a little over a month with another injury.
Prior to last year, Upshall signed a four-year contract worth $14 million, on the free agency day that Dale Tallon went absolutely bananas. This is one that hasn’t worked out for him. Upshall has only four points on the season to this point, though he has been seeing more ice time recently.
That certainly has to raise the question of whether or not Upshall’s future with the organization is up in the air. With two more years still remaining on that deal, which means a $3.5 million cap hit for each of the next two seasons, is he worth holding onto, or trying to unload?
A buyout is possible, but that seems more likely for someone older, like Ed Jovanovski. They could look to deal him and hope a team takes a chance on him as a role player. Upshall is capable of being a solid contributor, as a guy who can play the physical game if he has to, but was also capable of scoring 20 goals once upon a time.
The route they choose to take will be known in the next few months, but expect them to put at least some sort of thought into parting ways with Scottie Upshall this summer.