With free agency set to get underway at the end of the week, at least officially, we’re getting an idea of which players will be brought back by their respective teams, and which will be cut loose. In the case of the Florida Panthers, it looks like Jack Skille will not be returning.
Dale Tallon has already come out and said that it’s best, both for the organization and for Skille, that the two sides part ways. After a couple years in Florida, Skille was approaching free agency and showed just a few flashes of being a solid depth forward. But it never materialized.
It’s really the story of his career. Skille was a top 10 pick back in the 2007 draft, when Tallon was the general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks. When he took the reigns as GM in Florida, he sent Michael Frolik to the Hawks to acquire Skille. Frolik just wrapped up a season in which he a was a key piece of the Hawks’ championship run.
Skille has not had the same type of success. He has only 49 points in almost 180 career games, including only 24 in three and a half seasons with the Panthers. His career mark is 19 back in the 2010-11 season, 17 of which came prior to his being traded to the Panthers at the deadline that season.
He’s always had potential, but has never quite been able to put it together. He has decent size, at 6’1″ and over 200 lbs, and plays a physical game, but he’s never been able to generate that consistency in the goal-scoring department that was expected of him. Of course, being a six percent shooter for his career doesn’t help.
Someone will take a chance on Skille, perhaps his last in the league. He has some skill and can be useful as a third or fourth line player. But his time with the Panthers, who are in a position where they’d like to contend now, had simply run out.