Latest on the Panthers and Red Wings – April 4, 2017

by | Apr 4, 2017 | Rumors | 14 comments

Will the Florida Panthers bring back Jaromir Jagr for another season?

Another look at what the offseason could hold for the Florida Panthers and Detroit Red Wings in your NHL rumor mill. 

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Craig Davis recently noted there are several issues the Florida Panthers must address in the offseason following this disappointing campaign. Apart from possible shakeups behind the bench and in the front office, Davis wondered if 45-year-old veteran winger Jaromir Jagr will return? If not, who replaces him on their top line with Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau? He also wondered how they’ll shore up a defense that generated offense from the blueline but struggled to keep the puck out of their own zone. 

Davis’ colleague Harvey Fialkov last night reported Jagr, a pending unrestricted free agent,  hopes to return with the Panthers. “I love it here, any minute I was here,” Jagr continued. “The organization was so good to me. They gave me a chance. They traded for me. They gave me a great opportunity. I love it. I play with very good and talented players the last few years here. I love it. I love it here and nothing has changed.”  Panthers general manager and interim coach Tom Rowe and president of hockey operations Dale Tallon will discuss Jagr’s future after this season ends. 

MIAMI HERALD: George Richards reports Rowe would like to return as head coach on a full-time basis next season. However, “numerous sources” say Rowe’s tenure as coach will end after this season. “With three years remaining and the trust and friendship of ownership, Rowe will be offered a position within the front office,” writes Richards. However, it’s unclear who will take over the GM’s role. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting that Rowe might not be returning to what was previously his full-time role as general manager. He took over that job last summer when Tallon was kicked upstairs into hockey ops, but he gave up those duties to Tallon and two others when he took over as interim coach.

The club’s disappointing performance this season after winning the Atlantic Division crown a year ago, as well as the hasty early-season firing of former coach Gerard Gallant, may be casting some doubt over Rowe’s management abilities. Whoever takes over as general manager will have to not only decide if they’re bringing back Jagr on another one-year contract but also how they’ll bolster their porous blueline. 

USA TODAY: Kevin Allen recently offered up a five-step plan to get the Detroit Red Wings back on track. Finding a premium defenseman is the top priority. Kevin Shattenkirk is the best bet via free agency but Allen doubts he’ll sign with the Wings. He suggests pursuing one via trade, though that could prove an expensive undertaking.

Allen also recommends shedding the salaries of some aging or disappoint veterans, such as Niklas Kronwall ($4.75 million per season), Justin Abdelkader ($4.25 million) or Gustav Nyquist to provide salary-cap flexibility. He also advocates adding another scorer, perhaps bringing back Thomas Vanek via free agency on a short-term deal. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I anticipate Red Wings GM Ken Holland could target teams that risk losing a quality defenseman via the June expansion draft, such as the Anaheim Ducks or Minnesota Wild, in the trade market. It’ll be very difficult to move the contracts of players such as Kronwall, Abdelkader or Nyquist unless Holland either picks up part of their annual cap hit or agrees to bundle a top prospect into the deal. Vanek expressed interest in returning to the Wings, but maybe Holland will look at younger options via trade or free agency. 


  1. Really don’t see how Nyquist’s contract would be hard to move he makes $4.75 million for 2 more years has like 46 points in 73 games. Kronwall yes he’s also making about $4.75 million for 2 more years and his knees are shot. And Abby at $4,25 million for 6 more years is a bad contract Holland could chose to sweeten it with either picks or a little retention here.

  2. Trade Howard and not resign Tatar and they would have enough for Shattenkirk. Maybe Kronwall retires

    • Shattenkirk doesn’t help really Detroit. Not the ideal type of Dman Detroit needs. They are more in need of a solid 2 way guy like a Trouba. Even a Brodin would be a significantly better choice. Savard from Columbus or Manson or Vatanen from Anaheim. Da Haan from NYI would also fit well.

      Shattenkirk is a 1 dimensional Dman. Really not that much different than a Yandle. Just a younger version. He would certainly help drive offense & the PP but do little to help Detroit’s dismal goals against.

    • I’m all for trading Howard for pretty much any thing if Holland has to retain half to move him then do it. Tatar will be resigned and Holland will probably move Nywuist hopefully Kronwall calls it a career and goes on LTIR for his last 2 years and i agree with Striker Shattenkirk isn’t a fit in Detroit.

  3. Florida suffered some injuries, specifically Huberdeau for a significant period, Barkov, Ekblad & Petrovic for 15 to 20 games & Petrovic & Bjugstad for more but none of these explain the total collapse of Florida.

    This collapse falls to ownership & transfer of power to Rowe & Co. The personal changes made didn’t make Florida better. Rowe should be lucky to keep his job come seasons end. He certainly shouldn’t. He has set this team back. They sure spent a ton of money this summer, some that doesn’t kick into next season but they signed Yandle, Demers & Reimer all as UFA’s essentially. Paid a late pick to get Yandle just prior to July 1st. Jagr was reupped in May of last year for what will be 5 mil cap hit this year with bonus achieved.

    The loss of Campbell on Ekblad was also profound. They formed an incredible #1 pairing. If rumors are to be believed this wasn’t anyone’s fault he was offered more money to stay but hand picked Chicago. The paid Arizona & NJ to take contracts. Savard a 2nd & Pheonix Crouse & a swap of picks to take Bolland.

    All wasn’t a total loss, they signed Marchesseault for peanuts for 2 years & got 30 goals out of him. That was pretty smart.

    • the geniuses who run the Panthers, including the owners, showed how dumb they were to kick Tallon upstairs and instead go after analytics. They should have left their team from the previous season intact, with Gallant in charge. Instead the new front office changed the team way too much and handed out big contracts to young players. Same exact problems of what got the Oilers organization in trouble after their 2006 Cup run

      • Similiar maybe but far from the same as Edm. Not all players could be retained, specifically Campbell which was a significant loss. The rest is all on Ownership & management, Tom Rowe & crew.

        I assume Tallon wasn’t in agreement,the reason he was moved up & kind of out of hockey opps. Now it’s a bit of a mess. Going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

  4. My advice to Holland regarding Abdelkater and Kronwall is: “Robidas Island” as we Leaf fans like to call it! No sweeteners needed just slightly bend (horribly mash) the rules basically. That’s what the Leafs did.

    • Robidas Island is only possible when u have CAP space to burry these contracts. As the leafs do. Red Wings do not

  5. The Panthers problems began when they let Gudbranson go west. His size and toughness were missed the entire season.
    Apparently management wanted more speed on the blue line.
    The problems multiplied when Gallant was unceremoniously fired. He was the guy who brought us to the playoffs last year. The players were upset and more so when Tom Rowe took over behind the bench. He lost the locker room with his insensitive treatment of Riley Smith when he dressed him down in front of the team after a game.
    The players do not like Rowe and do not want to play for him.
    Put Tallon back where he belongs, as the GM. All his hard work with great results over the last 5-6 years is going down the drain.
    Let the owners and front office people do what they do best (whatever that is) and stay out of picking coaches and players and leave those decisions to the people who know how to do that.
    I wish I could remember the name of the front office guy who was interviewed between periods of a game by Denny Potvin after Gallant was fired and Rowe was hired. He had no idea how to directly answer Potvin’s questions about the coaching change. I left that interview with the opinion that this guy knows nothing about hockey muchless the Panthers.
    If Tallon watched that interview he must have felt frustrated.
    As I and all Panther fans feel together with utter disappointment.
    Oh, I don’t discount the injuries but even with them Rowe lost the team.
    Dump him like Gallant was dumped.

    • I do not agree so much with Gudbranson. His lack of foot speed was very telling last year in both the regular season and playoffs. I cannot tell you how many times faster forwards tied him up in knots. He is a big hitter but mostly on slower guys he can catch. To me, the big loss was Kulikov. He laid quite a few hip checks on players and he at least contributed a little on the offensive side playing on the second PP unit.
      As for Rowe, the chants of the 50 or so total fans in the stands of “Rowe sucks” are spot on. But Rowe has the backing of Vinnie’s son so we might be stuck with him. The guy in the interview was probably Ciu (sp?) one of the team partners. I did not see it because I was po’d and did not watch too many games at that time, but he was the one doing interviews around then. He knows next to nothing about hockey so whatever he says will be pretty worthless.
      I do not think you can blame injuries too much. The Cats started out well when Huberdeau came back but Rowe quickly lost them and you can see this was a team that quit on him and is just waiting for the season to end.
      With all the promise of last year, this all falls on Rowe’s shoulders as he had most of the power.

      • Gubranson apparently declined a long term deal at 5 mil per. Living in BC I would gladly reverse that trade if able.

    • Well said Steve.

  6. Jag’s back to pens on a cheap deal to play winger with Malkin. Love it!