Written by WJWhite30
I am writing this first thing in the morning so you cannot say that I have had a few too many, but I want to pretend that I am the GM of the Panthers for a day.
Seth Jones made it clear that he wants to test free agency and most likely will not sign in Columbus thus forcing Columbus to trade him in order to get something/anything in return. Columbus is also looking to move 1 of their 2 goalies assuming they do not get picked up in the expansion draft.
Additionally, it became clear this postseason that the Panthers management and coaching staff do not see a future with Keith Yandle or Sergei Bobrovsky. Both guys were healthy scratched at least twice in the 6-game series against Tampa.
Furthermore, there was quite a bit of controversy to start the season when Panthers GM, Bill Zito, was talking about health bombing KY for the home opener which would end his Iron Man streak. So needless to say, I cannot imagine Yands is happy here or that Coach Q/Zito see a long-term future for KY with the Cats.
To touch on Bobrovsky, as you can tell, I do not think that he lived up to the hype or the contract he signed. I think he was a stud for CBJ because Torts (an American hero) had the guys buy in to his system and play a very defensive structure, the polar opposite of the run-and-gun style the Cats have tried to play. While I think he is a very good goalie and well above average, I do not think he is worth his contract or anything close to it. I also do not believe in giving goalies long-term deals as very few have long shelf lives. Look at Rick DiPietro for example.
This being said, I have a few “conspiracy theories” and potential moves that could be done by the Panthers to help the situation. Again, this is not insider trading and as Ruth from the Ozark TV series says, “I don’t know shit about fuck”; however, with the Cats season over, I wanted to share some possible, fun ideas.
Please note that all of my theories do involve getting Bob and KY to waive their NMC. I am not an idiot; I am just having fun thinking about some potential opportunities. Also, if any of this plays out, I will be the new Bob McKenzie, so TSN or ESPN, put me on your radar!
Here we go:
- Bobrovsky waives his NMC for the expansion draft and goes to Seattle to rejuvenate his career much like Flower did for Vegas. Again, I know Flower did not have as many years or nearly as much money in his contract; however, Bob would be a big name “superstar” to help sell jerseys for a new team coming in to the market. Plus, if the Kraken build from the net out, they could win some games playing a very defensive style. Even more down this rabbit hole, with Torts not going back to CBJ, we could see a Torts and Bob reunion in Seattle. Likely? Probably not. But would it be fun? Of course!
- Both Bob and KY waive their NMC allowing the Panthers to shop the market. The Panthers have Ekblad and Weegar; however, could you imagine what a backend would look like with Seth Jones leading those two? The Panthers would go from middle of the pack to one of the top defensive teams in the league. Not to mention having Gudas who would hit his own mother if she was near the puck.
Here is how I can imagine it playing out: with CBJ going for a complete rebuild, they will likely want to get draft picks and assets so the Panthers get Jones & Merzļikins/Korpisalo for KY, Bob, a young gun like Tippett (who had a breakout season this year), and maybe a 1st or 2nd round draft pick (this would also assume that the Panthers do not bring back Dreidger). I am not sure what CBJ would be asking; however, they have the cap space for both of those guys plus it would be like a “homecoming” for Bob who really made his presence felt in the league while playing for Columbus. This one is highly unlikely and I have a better chance of winning the Powerball than seeing this trade come true, but you can only imagine, right?
- Again, with CBJ going for a full rebuild after the disaster that was last season, they are going to want young talent and draft picks. Panthers have quite a bit of both. I could see a trade dealing Seth Jones for KY, Tippet, and/or some draft picks. Yands is past his prime, but is a big name and CBJ would take him to gain some other valuable assets. Plus they would still be able to move him at next season’s trade deadline to a contender who needs a veteran player with some offense and puck moving abilities.
KY knows his time with the Panthers is up and would likely have free reign to do as he pleases on a rebuilding CBJ team; however, it seems as though no one wants to go or wants to stay in Columbus. So, I highly doubt he would waive his NMC for a team like the Blue Jackets.
Now, I highly doubt any of these are likely scenarios; however, I do know Bobrovsky and Yandle have to be very unhappy being healthy scratched in the playoffs. I also know the Panthers cannot be happy paying a defenseman $6.35 million and a goalie $10 million to sit in the press box. So, we will see what type of offseason moves Zito is able to make; however, I know you would see one of these scenarios play out if I were the GM!
What do you guys think? Am I a genius or a moron? Let me know your thoughts and feeling on social or on the discussion page.