The Florida Panthers had an absolutely miserable season, there’s no sugarcoating that. But in a season that was derailed by injury in the way that their 2013 campaign was, it’s not that hard to look and focus on the positives, rather than on the negative aspects of the year.
One of those positive aspects was the way that Tomas Kopecky played in 2013. A cap casualty by the Chicago Blackhawks prior to the 2011-2012 season, Kopecky quickly proved to be a solid addition, which has been the case in both of his seasons with the organization.
Kopecky has never been a guy that’s going to put up big points, but is a perfectly capable depth forward. Since his time in South Beach, he’s proven to be more than that for the Panthers, though. He’s been an impressive presence for this team both on and off the ice.
If the 2013 season were a full 82-game campaign, Kopecky would have easily set some new career highs. He tied his career mark for goals in the shortened season, finishing with 15. In just 47 games, he was only 15 shy of his career high for points, finishing the year with 27.
But Kopecky has proven to be a valuable guy in the locker room as well. A veteran presence in a young locker room, Kopecky brings plenty of experience, both in the regular season and in the playoffs. He’s worn the ‘A’ on several occasions. His combination of secondary scoring and leadership make him a bargain for the Panthers.
For the next couple of years after this season, Kopecky will carry a cap hit of $3 million. For what he brings to the ice, he could fetch much more on the open market. Which definitely makes him a bargain for this team. He’s a valuable piece, and an underrated one, moving forward.