BS Meter on the Latest 2024 NHL Draft, Trade and Free Agency Rumors

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BS Meter on the Latest 2024 NHL Draft, Trade and Free Agency Rumors
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 30:  Aaron Ekblad #5 of the Florida Panthers skates during the first period of the Eastern Conference Final game 5 against the New York Rangers on May 30, 2024 at Madison Square Garden in New York.  (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Florida
Panthers are in the midst of their Stanley Cup Final series with the
Edmonton Oilers. However, management could face some difficult roster
decisions during the offseason with 14 active roster players under
contract for 2024-25 and a projected cap space of $19.7 million.

Eleven players will become unrestricted free agents on July 1, including
57-goal winger Sam Reinhart and puck-moving defenseman Brandon
Montour. Both will seek hefty raises that could eat up most of the Panthers’ cap room. Meanwhile, two-way center Anton Lundell is a restricted
free agent in line for a pay bump this summer.

On June 2, the
Toronto Sun‘s Steve Simmons claimed the Panthers wanted to re-sign
Reinhart and Montour. To do so, he believes they’ll trade defenseman
Aaron Ekblad and use the salary cap savings to keep Montour in the fold. He also thinks Reinhart will accept less than
market value because of Florida’s lack of a state tax.

Ekblad, 28, was
the first-overall pick by the Panthers in the 2014 NHL Draft. The
following season, he took home the Calder Memorial Trophy, becoming the linchpin of the Panthers’ defense corps. He has a year
left on his contract with a cap hit of $7.5 million and a no-movement
clause that becomes a 12-team no-trade list on July 1.


Ekblad is the
heart and soul of the Panthers’ blue line so he’s going anywhere. On May 31, Sportsnet’s Luke Fox observed the Panthers
prioritized re-signing defenseman Gustav Forsling rather than
Montour, suggesting the latter could be playing his final games in
Florida.

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