Should the Leafs trade for Jonas Brodin?

There seems to be two type of Leaf fans these days. 

One group of fans is patient, embracing the slow building process while also acknowledging the fine tuning that needs to take place over time, while the other group is more aggressive. Sparked by the play of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, Willie Nylander and the rest of the Leafs young core, these fans are ready for the Leafs to propel forward and start to contend in the short-term future. 

Lots of bickering takes place between these two types of fans, but what’s forgotten is that there are moves that can be made that could satisfy both types of fans. The Leafs need another top-four defender to add to their back end and they may want to explore the trade market to fill that void. How about a young up-and-comer that could grow with the Leafs young ‘D’ core, along with being able to contribute right away?

Who fits that criteria? Minnesota Wild defenceman Jonas Brodin sure does. 

Brodin, the Wild’s first-round pick in 2011,  is no stranger to the rumour mill as his name popped up periodically around last summer’s draft. Due to this upcoming June’s expansion draft, Brodin may find himself on the trade block once the offseason rolls around. The Wild are likely to protect 7 forwards, 3 defenceman and a goaltender at the expansion draft and if that’s the case, Brodin could be the odd man out and be left unprotected. 

If the Wild aren’t pleased with the idea of losing Brodin for nothing, they may seek to trade him. The Leafs could be the perfect trading partner. 

Now, why would the Leafs want to trade for Jonas Brodin?

Brodin may not be the hulking shut-down defenceman that many envision the Leafs acquiring, but he could still do wonders to the Leafs blue-line. Brodin is a left-handed shot that’s smooth skating and puck moving ability would fit alongside Jake Gardiner quite well. Brodin has played on his off handiness before and you’d have to think he’d play on the right side if he were to join the Leafs. 

What makes Brodin such an intriguing option is his age. He’s 23 years old and still has work to do to become a top-pairing defender. But as it stands now, he’s still a viable top-four defender. If the Leafs were to acquire Brodin, not only would they be building for the future by acquiring a potential future top-pairing defender, but they’d be helping themselves in the short term as well.

There’s two types of deals that could land Brodin in Toronto. 

The Leafs have an abundance of young players and prospects that could be assembled to make up a deal. Players like Brendan Leipsic, Kasperi Kapanen or Connor Brown could be in play. Package one of those players with another prospect and a high draft pick, the Wild could bite on that kind of deal. The thinking from the Wild’s end could be to acquire more young talent ( preferably talent that’s exempt from the expansion draft process) to mesh with their relatively older roster. 

If the Wild are set on contending sooner rather than later, they could pursue a deal centred around someone like James Van Riemsdyk, who has gained some traction on the trade market as of late. 

What if the Leafs back end looked something like this in a couple of years.. 

Morgan Reilly – Nikita Zaitsev

Jake Gardiner – Jonas Brodin

Andrew Nielsen – Connor Carrick

Brodin could help round out an extraordinary, young and skilled back end that could lead the Leafs for the next 5-10 years. The Leafs have the assets to acquire Brodin and the Wild are in a position where they may have to deal Brodin due to the complicated expansion draft process. If Minnesota puts Jonas Brodin on the block anytime soon,

Toronto should pick up the phone right away.

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  • LeafsTakeFlight

    Brown/Kapanen/Leipsic + Prospect + high/mid round draft pick seems like so much to give. I’d rather keep all of those players and continue the development of Dermott/Nielsen. If we’re looking at a 5-year rebuild then let’s stick to that consensus. We’re in Year Two and we have all the prospects to create a seriously dangerous team. I say unless a team panics at the deadline or draft table, then continue the slow process of the rebuild. We already gave up high picks to acquire our goaltender in Andersen.

    Nice article though I like your work Mr Stoller


    • Harte of a Lion

      Well said, how do you feel about JVR to Nashville for Dante Fabbro, or to St Louis for Jordan Schmaltz, +??? Other pieces including draft choices would need including to make the cap work. St. Louis has its window closing and Nashville needs another scoring forward/ winger.
      Toronto gets good to great RHD prospects while St Louis and Nashville get a scorer to put them over the top.

      • Harte of a Lion

        He will be 29 at the end of his current contract and I can’t see him signing for only 5 years unless he is getting 6-7 million per. With the current make up of the roster, there is no room for a 30 something year old, 6 million dollar man who is immensely talented from the offensive blue line forward but is usually a disaster in his own end. If we could get him at 5 x 5.25 without any non movement/limited movement clauses, he still retains value as both a contributor or as a trade chip. Unfortunately, JVR will get 6 x 6 with a limited no movement clause, probably 12 teams he can veto a trade to… I say pass and hope Lou can get a Schmaltz, Fabbro, Mcavoy, Rasmus Andersson type player coming back.
        Perhaps ‘Burke the Sensible’, LMFAO, he of the 5 year plan condensed into 30 months, who traded for him once before, could convince him to waive his limited movement…I am 110% certain Calgary would be on his no trade list…
        The Flames have a few pieces I’d love to get back like C Mark Jankowski or RD Rasmus Andersson. No we don’t need Jankowski but adding more talent at centre is never a bad thing as the more ‘A’ talent you have, means when making future deals will be from a position of strength and I’ve always believed Calgary has a Diamond in this kid.
        They won’t give up Hamilton but if Burke thinks they can do some damage this year in the playoffs, I can see him sending a 2 very good prospects (uhmmm 2 x 1st rounders, do we see a Patteryn) for a 30/30 winger with a year left at 4.25 M.
        The Leafs might need to take back a Deryk Engelland or Matt Stajan who each have a year left after this season, to make it work, especially since the Flames are in cap hell.

  • Mike Giasson

    If the Wild are simply trying to get something for him rather than losing him in the expansion draft I can’t see the Leafs giving up what you suggest.

    • LukeDaDrifter

      That is the tricky bit. Will teams offer fair market value or take advantage of the teams like the Wild who are in an expansion bind. Looking at it from the Wild’s point of view they have two young D-men that will likely be exposed. Even if they trade one they will likely lose the other. They could just say let Vegas take one and we keep the other one. What we need is a former smart GM interview to explain all the possibilities. Is the tire kicking on JVR that Lou is getting simply GM’s trying to assess where the best deal available is. And this thought I like. Is Lou working on a big multi-player deal, involving our bottom pairing, top prospects, one top nine forward like JVR? Lou may also be think our Leafs are just coming together nicely. We have some depth in the pipeline. Maybe he will wait to see if someone calls with an offer too good to turn down.

      • Harte of a Lion

        There is another option for the expansion draft that no one is discussing. The Leafs or another team can offer Vegas a draft pick, perhaps a second or third if they take Marincin rather than Carrick? It is important for the Golden Silver Black Desert Sandlot Evening Knights to acquire assets as well as draft picks to expedite building a winner.
        Good Knight kids. Hockey is back tomorrow, Go Leafs!

          • LukeDaDrifter

            How can you do it formally through the NHL. It would have to be registered as a trade for some sort of future considerations. Do you feel this could meet the trade rules?

            The 30 NHL Clubs must submit their Protection List by 5:00 P.M. ET on Saturday, June 17, 2017

            The Las Vegas team must submit their Expansion Draft Selections by 5:00 P.M. ET on June 20

            The 2017 NHL Entry Draft will be held on June 23–24, 2017.

          • espo

            that’s exactly it. they’ve requested any wink wink nudge nudge deals be registered as actual trades. keep everything above board. As per what I remember the radio saying Daly says . . lol

          • Harte of a Lion

            If there is a way to bend rules, Godfather Lamoriello will find it. As we get closer to the trade deadline you will hear more and more people discussing the option of trading prospects and/or draft picks to the Vegas team to influence what players they select in the expansion draft. Vegas Will need to acquire as many decent prospects and draft picks as they can to help expedite the road to respectability.
            I doubt Las Vegas will shy away from selecting a top four d-man (Dumba/ Brodin/Fowler… etc.) unless they are offered an ‘A’ prospect or a high draft pick.

          • LukeDaDrifter

            Ok I read the expansion rules over again. I see no option to trade prospects and or draft picks to influence which player Vegas chooses. This is the closest I have come.

            2017 NHL Draft Lottery…Vegas is in the lottery at 3rd place odds……Las Vegas franchise will be guaranteed no lower than the sixth overall selection.

            The Las Vegas franchise then will select third in each subsequent round
            of the 2017 NHL Draft (subject to trades and other potential player

            Is this the clause you feel could be used to influence a player taken in the expansion draft? If so can you give an example of a possible trade?

            The entry draft takes place the week after the expansion draft.

          • Harte of a Lion

            Luke, you didn’t find a rule that prohibits it either did you? Let’s call it ‘future considerations’ and a gentlemans handshake between GM’s.

          • LukeDaDrifter

            It remains to be seen whether the NHL will approve those sort of future considerations. It could only be done after the Leafs have submitted their protected list on Saturday, June 17, 2017. That leaves 3 days to attempt that type of trade. One needs to keep in mind the NHL has a vested interest in Vegas competing right from the start. It strikes me the NHL would nix a trade that stated one team will send such and such a player plus a draft pick and in return Los Vegas promises to select a certain player in the expansion draft. You could be looking at 10 or more of those types of deals being offered. I do agree there could be a net benefit for both Vegas and the Leafs. At the same time Vegas has only 3 days to decide who they will chose. If they must wait for a pile of trades to be approved by the NHL how are they going to put their team together?

          • Harte of a Lion

            Luke, let’s speculate the Leafs acquire Brodin or Dumba from the Wild. If the Leafs were to go the 7 forwards, 3 defencemen and 1 goalie route, the Leafs protect Brodin/Dumba, Gardiner and Reilly on defence. Up front they protect Kadri, JVR (if he isn’t traded) Bozak, Komarov, Brown, Leipsic and Martin.
            Each team must expose 1 defenceman, 2 forwards and a goalie. Ben Smith and Byron Froese need to play 12 more games each to qualify under the 70/40 rules.
            The Leafs expose Sparks(G) Marincin(D) Smith and Froese(F) if Smith and Froese each play the additional 12 games and the Leafs extend their contracts. (neither has a contract past this season). Lou could trade a 4th plus Lievo to Las Vegas for future considerations to ensure that Vegas doesn’t take Marincin. They take either Froese or Smith in the draft plus they add Leivo and a 4th. Is Marincin worth more to Vegas than Froese/Smith, Leivo and a 4th? Is Marincin worth more to the Leafs than Froese/Smith, Leivo and. 4th?
            The Leafs have shown how important draft picks are so Vegas gets Froese, Leivo and a 4th by selecting who the Leafs prefer rather than possibly the best player they make available (Marincin)
            Luke, remember this is all speculation on my part as I have no idea who the Leafs management value the most. I’m just making an attempt to show that this is possible.

            ps: JVR is probably the piece needed to acquire Dumba or Brodin from the Wild or Lindholm from the Ducks, which immediately changes the dynamics of who the Leafs need to protect. I’d prefer to see a young righty on defence who needs no protection come back to the Leafs if we trade JVR like Jordan Schmaltz from the Blues. The only defencemen currently playing in the NHL that I really want (I can dream) are Lindholm from the Ducks or Ristolainen from Buffalo and Parayko from the Blues.
            IMO, JVR + his amazing contract is worth as much if not more than Edmonton got for Hall.
            How does Nylander for Ristolainen sound? The Sabres get the Nylander brothers and we get a big, 6’4 210lbs, physical, puck moving defenceman who shoots right and immediately makes Rielly and the team better. Both Nylander and Ristolainen were the 8th pick so if the rumours are true and Buffalo really really really wants Willy, that should be the cost.
            In the end, its fun to speculate however as an armchair GM, I’ll leave the important decisions to Shanahan, Lamoriello, Hunter, Dubas and the rest of the Maple Leafs management group. They know what’s needed to improve the team and which players fit within their model, both talent wise as well as the financial issues which the team will need to address once the ELC’s of Matthews, Marner, Nylander Brown and others roll over into the second contracts.

  • Harte of a Lion

    Brodin would be a great addition however I believe Carrick has huge untapped potential and he shoots right. By adding a defenceman that needs protection, the Leafs are guaranteed to lose him in the expansion draft. Since it’s almost a foregone conclusion that JVR will be moved, I would prefer seeing a young d-man who doesn’t need protection as the return. Charlie Mcavoy from the Bruins would be one option. I’d like to see Loöv and Valiev get a shot before trading for Brodin

    • Brandon

      I totally agree with you on this. I know Carrick hasn’t been scoring much this year, but I think that’s because he’s being asked to work on the defensive side of his game. Hockey people always say that it takes time to develop good defenders; I wish the leafs would at least spend a year trying to develop Carrick and Corrado. I don’t care much for the argument over whether Polak is better than Corrado is right now. Polak is in the twilight of his career; why not develop your two young right-handed d-men while the team is still in development mode? Why risk losing both to the expansion draft by trading for a top-four defender now?

      • Stan Smith

        I think the idea with playing Polak over Corrado is that you want a mixture of veterans with the rookies. Plus Polak is the only dman that provides a specific skill set. i truly believe you will see at least one of Polak and Hunwick replaced next season from within, and my thinking is the most likely candidate is Nielsen.

        If Brodin is the odd man out due to the expansion draft I would be wary to give up too much for him, especially if Babcock is really stuck on the whole left-right idea.

      • Harte of a Lion

        Great points Brandon. Everyone seems to forget that Gardiner is now 26 and could now be considered the Leafs top d-man although he plays against lesser quality/comp than Reilly/Zaitsev. Few defencemen dominate in the NHL before their mid twenties and with the BS that Gardiner has seen between 3 GM’s, 4 coaches 2 turtle doves and a Polak in a pear tree… he has quietly become a stats darling who won’t run anyone through the boards to separate the puck, but will take 3 quick strides and either make a tape to tape pass or turn on the jets and skate the puck onto the o-zone.
        If everyone shows patience, this is what Carrick will provide within the next few seasons. For those who keep calling him undersized, he laid out Colborne, all 6’5 of him with a clean open ice hit last week. Looked like Joe was checking to see if his fillings were knocked loose. That’s a top 4 d-man in the making.
        Finally, Corrado will get his chance. The Maple Leafs have been sickeningly healthy on the backend this season and though I don’t wish injury on anyone, that can’t last. He will get the opportunity to shine and though I understand his frustrations, most 20 somethings won’t make $600k in total before their 30th birthday unless they graduate with advanced degrees and even then, few could make $600k per year… if ever.

        Frankie, stop being a baby, suck it up and practice hard. 1st on the ice, last off. Show Babcock that you want it so badly you would kill for the chance and your opportunity will come. I guarantee it. Polak is prepared to block shots with his face, I’m not saying you must do the same but you need to show that passion and the coach will notice.

        • LukeDaDrifter

          Do you think Lou was surprised when he read Corrado saying the Leafs are taking food off his table? Lou may have thought the 600K he was paying him should buy a fair amount of Kraft Dinner.

          • Harte of a Lion

            Corrado can walk away from his contract and try and force a trade however then he gets $0 while hoping Lou will make a deal. Holland didn’t bitch publicly and now he is a Coyote. Corrado is better collecting his $600k, and waiting for his chance. Frankie needs to remember that his actions whether appropriate or not are seen by all the GM’s.
            Trouba didn’t get traded for two reasons… 1. Winnipeg was asking for Fort Knox 2. He was seen as a whiner and not a team player which probably reduced his desirability amongst other management groups.
            Right or wrong, hockey players perhaps more than any other team athletes are expected to tow the line while the team owns their rights. During the last collective bargaining agreement, they got the age for free agency reduced which was huge for the players however, until a player reaches that plateau, the team calls the shots whether the players like it or not …Drouin and Hamonic requested trades. Drouin walked away from the team and was suspended, Hamonic has rescinded his trade request and it appears he has made peace with the Islanders.
            Group 2 free agents can threaten to sit out if they don’t get a decent contract after their ELC however that’s the only leverage they have…
            The following 2016 Group 2 FAs who sat out training camp and more: Hampus Lindholm, Alexander Khokhlachev returned to the KHL, Zemgus Girgensons and Rasmus Ristolainen. Rickard Rakell sat out the first game of the season and Johnny Gaudreau threatened the same to force negotiations.
            These are only a few of the Group 2 FA’s that are excersizing what little rights they have to force trades or procure larger contracts.
            Frankie, I understand how tough your life seems however you are crapping gold nuggets.
            I know someone who lost his health insurance shortly before being diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately he has had violent reactions to the chemo drugs available through the Ontario drug plan. It makes him so sick that for 2 weeks a month his life rotates between vomiting until blood comes out and then delirium and dehydration to the point where he needs health care workers to watch over him as he is unable to get out of bed,

            Frankie, I’m certain he would trade lives with you in a heart beat but that’s my thoughts on the matter as he never complains. Sometimes life sucks so you dig down as deep as you can and deal with whatever shit hits the fan. Every morning you can open your eyes is a blessing, it’s a shame you don’t see it that way.

    • Bob Canuck

      You make a very good point about exposing Carrick in the expansion draft with the proposed acquisition of Brodin. When it comes to analysing proposed trades, I do hope that writers and commentators fully take into account the expansion protection rules. To properly assess a trade for Brodin, one has to factor in the risk of losing Carrick into the cost of acquisition. Similarly, trading a player who does not need to be protected has more value, all things being equal, than a player who needs to be protected.

      • The China Wall

        You’ve hit on the key points which need to be remembered in any discussion about trading for a #4 D-man – does he need protection in the expansion draft, how many assets is he going to cost to acquire, and how much of an upgrade is he over Carrick? I believe if Carrick is exposed in the draft, Vegas will take him.

        • LukeDaDrifter

          To get a top 4 defenceman this year who doesn’t need protection wil be almost impossible. We only lose one player. Vegas could opt for one of our younger fowards like Brown if we sign him for next year, or Bozak or komarov. They could choose someone off the Marlies. Vegas will end up with 23 roster players plus 7 prospects.

      • LukeDaDrifter

        No matter what, the Leafs must expose at least one D-man who meets the exposure requirements. (signed for next year – Played at leas 40 games this year or 70 over last 2 years). Zaitsev is exempt..,Rielly and Gardiner are a given. That leaves open to protect one of Carrick, Marincin. or someone we trade for.

        The Ducks can only protect 2 of Lindholm, Vatanen, Fowler, Manson and Stoner.

        Minnesota can only protect 2 of Spugeon, Brodin, Scandella,and Dumba

        I think Lou is taking calls not making calls.

        Teams can protect 4 defencemen, I think choosing that option reduces the # of forwards you can protect down to 5 instead of 7

        • Bob Canuck

          Teams can protect either 7 forwards, 3 defenceman, and 1 goalie or 8 skaters and 1 goalie. is a good website to use to work through different scenarios for each team. Click on Tools, then Expansion Draft, to get to the noted web page.

          • LukeDaDrifter

            I use CapFriendly as well. Thanks for clearing up the 8 skaters one goalie thing. That is even tougher than I remembered. Kanuunankuula – mentioned the Leafs could maybe choose that option as we have so few forwards to protect.

            There are a lot of “Y’s’ in the road ahead Some people saying we’d be better off dead. Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World.

            One thing I have noticed is the most of Media has not got firm grasp on this yet.

  • Harte of a Lion

    The more I think about things the more I see the Leafs defensive pairings as follows for the 2018/19 season
    Reilly / Zaitsev
    Gardiner / Carrick
    Nielsen or Dermott / Lindgren or Corrado

    Once again I have begun to hear the rumblings of how we missed this player or that one rather than those picked by Hunter in the 2015 and 2016 drafts. Nicolas Roy scored a great goal last night and all of a sudden Hunter has lost his touch? Rather than beat a dead horse, or a Tyler Biggs if you prefer, I’ve decided to touch on three of Hunter’s controversial 2015 and 2016 picks and show that each one has the potential to be a home run. ?

    Yegor Korshkov #31, 2016 breaks his leg and it’s an indictment that he was never going to make an impact for the Leafs? Korshkov was over .5 pts/game as a 20 year old playing third line minutes. The fact he’s playing a regular shift in the K as a 20-year-old speaks volumes of his abilities and what he brings every shift. Very few 20 year olds make an impact in the KHL and even fewer put up those numbers. He must continue to improve his skating (already an above average skater) however while sidelined with the broken leg affords him a unique opportunity to work with a strength coach to put on healthy muscle and mass the way Downtown Brown did after breaking his ankle October 30, 2015. This kid will be a beast and have an immediate impact the day he puts on the Blue & White. His father was 6’5, 237 lbs. Yegor is only 6’4 but he is closing in on 190 lbs so his focus should be skating and adding healthy mass to fill out that lanky frame.
    Carl Grundström #57, 2016, thank you Daniel Winnik again leads the SHL in goals as a 19 year old and he is the Leipsic/Komarov of that league. Everyone hates to play against him but those on his team will name their children in his honour.
    Jesper Lindgren has a chance to develop into the top pairing right shot defenceman everyone insists we need but don’t have. The kid skates better at 19 than anyone not named Rielly. Playing with men since 17 and looking like he belongs, IMO he has the greatest upside of all our defensivea prospects. It’s wonderful when a 19 year old centre/winger captures the imagination of Leafs Nation and even better when we have 3 of them, well 2 1/2 since Willie turned 20 before the season began however defencemen not named Ekblad usually take 5 years + – from draft day to begin to show their true potential. This is Reilly’s 5th year and under Babcock’s tuteledge is showing what the future may hold.
    For those willing to dig past the many assenine opinions usually associated with many internet sites, this is what scouts are saying about our 4th round pick, #95 in 2015.

    Jesper Lindgren, an impressive blend of skill, speed, determination, and intelligence, is the one player you don’t want to see carrying the puck if you are his adversary. The nimble puck-carrying defenseman plays above his age, and is confident enough in his abilites to make creative plays under pressure. He is poised with the puck and possesses a high level of hockey sense; he is always aware of what is unfolding in the play, and never seems to make irrational decisions or bend under adversity. What he lacks in size, he makes up for in spirit and cunning. However, he doesn’t shy away from puck battles, and will use his body to barge his way in and swoop out with the puck. All-in-all, a talented offensive blueliner who plays an adaptive, new-age style of hockey ➡➡ with his abilities, talent and the style he plays he sounds kinda Marner’ish’. If given the chance, this kid is going to blow away the Leaf Nation and no, he is NOT too small to play in the NHL.
    See more at: http://www.eliteprospects.c

    • LukeDaDrifter

      That’s just the thing. The Leafs could make a deal, but if they don’t we have a lot of top prospects in the pipeline in almost every position. For us fans the hardest part is we are already so close in such a short time we want it all now, or at least speculate on how to get it.

      • Harte of a Lion

        Luke, speculation is fine however after living 50 years of futility, I’m prepared to be patient a little longer. If after the expansion draft we need to pay a bit more for the right piece on defence, that’s a good plan. To rush in and make a deal because we can regardless where the other domino’s fall, sounds a lot like Brian Burke.
        I still believe JVR is the asset to be moved at or before the deadline for a top RHD prospect who needs no protection. We will probably need to take back a similar contract to make a deal as everyone seems so close to the cap and that’s a fine plan as well.

      • LukeWarmWater

        Brother Luke I tend to agree with Harte that after 50 years of waiting I can wait awhile longer. I don’t want to see the leafs make a rushed move or blunder. For the first time in a long time the leafs are the ones with a fine set of cards in their hands and they should keep those cards close to the vest.

        I do agree that J.V.R. could likely be moved but the likely team will probably make the playoffs so their first round pick would be around 17 to 28. I would expect more than that for J.V.R.

        I will say kind of nice to be sitting in the position we are. One other comment is that we also must remember their have been other teams who have taken a major step forward in one season, only to fall back for unexpected reasons. May I remind leaf fans of a certain team that we kicked the crap out of last week 6 to 0, namely Colorado which has again fallen on hard times. So the leafs have to be careful before they start strutting around like the nature boy Ric Flair. Driving in that limousine, and jet flying and kiss stealing and wheeling and dealing will come soon enough WHOOOOO.

        • LukeDaDrifter

          Speaking of teams that have fallen on hard times. How about the Florida Panthers who finished 1st in our Atlantic division last year. Tied for 5th overall in the league. In the 2015–16 season, the team set a franchise record with a 12-game win streak. They also set a franchise record for most wins in a regular season with 47 wins and won their division for the second time in their existence.

          The owner VINCENT J. VIOLA purchased the team in 2013. He made his money on the NY Stock Exchange. He is a strong believer in analytics as they pertain to the financial services industry. He sees no reason they should not work for hockey too. GM Dale Tallon (former architect of the Black Hawks dynasty ) and coach Gerard Gallant were not as sold on analytics but did hire an analytics team anyways. Gallant even went so far as to say “When I watch our best player according to the analytics guys, I can’t stand him on the ice.”

          Looking for that extra 2%, Florida began 2016–17 season season with the promotion of general manager Dave Tallon to an executive position within the organization and former head coach of San Antonio Rampage Tom Rowe, was promoted to general manager. Like the owner, Rowe is a firm believer in analytics.

          Panthers let some players walk away, traded for others and signed some free agents. At the start of the season most of the hockey analytic mad pundits:felt Florida would be so improved,they would be the team to beat in the East. They were right. Everyone was beating them. They did have some injury issues at the start of the year. When those guys came back Florida continued to under-perform. The Panthers fired head coach Gerard Gallant and GM Tom Rowe took over as interim head coach. Panthers have continued to play poorly most of the time. Dale Talon has just been brought back to take over GM duties after the analylic guys had killed the chemistry the team developed last year. Florida now sits 1 point ahead of us. We have two games in hand on them.

          Florida desperately needs to beat us tomorrow night to retain any credibility.

          • LukeWarmWater

            As usual brother Luke a brilliant analysis of the Florida situation. Funny how teams such as Florida and Arizona with the emphasis of whiz kids management are indeed struggling. Happy New Year to you Brother.