NHL Rumors: 3 Florida Panthers Not Expected Back Next Season

The Florida Panthers may have been a juggernaut in the regular season in 2021-22, but unfortunately that did not translate into anything special during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The team was swept in the second round by the back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning and now the Panthers have a number of decisions to make on who is coming back next season. Free agency kicks off July 13, let's examine a few Panthers who aren't expected back with the team next season:

Claude Giroux

The Panthers currently only have $3.9 million in cap space for 2022-23, thanks to the $5 million buyout payment to Keith Yandle, essentially leaving not enough funds to keep Claude Giroux around. The Panthers were active before the trade deadline, and perhaps there wasn't a bigger name moved in season. Giroux showed up nicely for the Panthers as he recorded 23 points in 18 regular season games, and eight more points in 10 Stanley Cup playoff games. The 34-year-old will be testing the open market and while he may not fetch $8.27 million like he was making per season on his last deal, he will be too expensive for Florida to keep him around. 

Mason Marchment

The Panthers were pleasantly surprised this season with the production of Mason Marchment, but the only problem is he may have played himself off their roster for next season. The 27-year-old is a late bloomer who came into his own this season, recording 47 points in 54 games during the regular season. Marchment was banged up during the postseason and only appeared in four games, scoring once. With his mix of speed, size and toughness, expect to see some multi-year deals offered his way come July 13. 

Robert Hagg

One of the Panthers acquisitions that didn't work out was rugged defenseman Robert Hagg and it was solely based on health. Hagg appeared in 16 games during the regular season for the Panthers but was unable to dress at any point during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Hagg is a defensive defenseman and while his numbers won't jump off the page, there will be some interest on the open market for teams looking to round out their top six. Don't expect to see Hagg returning to Florida next season.

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