5 Biggest Florida Panthers Rumors Heading Into the Offseason

By PowerPlayCJ

5 Biggest Florida Panthers Heading Into Offseason

Florida Panthers
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After barely missing the playoffs in 2015, the Florida Panthers look to build upon their success and have a solid offseason in hopes of returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2012. With the team expected to be very active on the market, here are five rumors surrounding their intentions.

5. Even More Youth In the Lineup

Florida Panthers
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5. Even More Youth In the Lineup

Florida Panthers
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Despite having one of the youngest teams in the NHL, the Panthers will be looking to get even younger this summer by giving prospects such a Rocco Grimaldi and Michael Matheson a chance to make the team out of camp. For the first time in a while, the Panthers have been patient with prospect development and could reap the benefits in the 2015-16 season.

4. Contract Extension for Jonathan Huberdeau

Winnipeg Jets v Florida Panthers
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4. Contract Extension for Jonathan Huberdeau

Winnipeg Jets v Florida Panthers
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The former No. 3 overall pick in the draft had a fantastic third year in the league and will be a restricted free agent this summer. I fully expect Dale Tallon to get to work and have the slick forward locked up to an extension before he has the chance to even test the market.

3. Making Noise at the Draft

Rantanen
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3. Making Noise at the Draft

Rantanen
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The Panthers are hosting the draft this summer and will be looking to hit their first-round pick, No. 11 overall, out of the park in front of the hometown fans. I have the team taking Finnish power forward Mikko Rantanen, who would make a great duo with fellow Big Finn Aleksander Barkov down the line.

2. Phil Kessel Trade

Anaheim Ducks v Toronto Maple Leafs
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2. Phil Kessel Trade

Anaheim Ducks v Toronto Maple Leafs
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The team was linked to “Phil the Thrill” at the deadline, and despite his contract, he could be exactly what the Panthers need -- a bona fide scorer who brings a level of excitement and star power. With the Leafs in the midst of yet another rebuild, it would behoove the Panthers to at least inquire about Kessel’s services. It doesn't hurt that Kessel spends the offseason in South Florida and would surely love to make it his "home".

1. Ex-Blackhawks Coming to Town

Patrick Sharp
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1. Ex-Blackhawks Coming tot Town

Patrick Sharp
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Dale Tallon drafted and developed many members of the Chicago Blackhawks while he was the GM in Chi-Town and has made a habit out of trading for ex-Hawks in Florida. With Chicago looking to purge salary, I expect Tallon to bring at least a few former Blackhawks to Sunrise, with Patrick Sharp and/or Bryan Bickell being the most likely to trade in the Windy City for the Sunshine State.

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