Florida Panthers' Top Trade Candidate This Season

When the Florida Panthers get healthy, and that will be at some point this season, they are going to be forced to trade a player. Three forward names have come up in this discussion - Sam Bennett, Anthony Duclair, and Sam Reinhart.

The Panthers would like to keep all three, but have to reset this offseason since it doesn't look like they will be heading to the playoffs without a big second half run. It wouldn't make much sense for them to lose more assets to get rid of Patric Hornqvist this season on the last year of his deal. Though it would free up the necessary cap space, the Panthers are thin when it comes to picks and prospects as it is.

Duclair is currently injured and has been for the entirety of this season. Of the three potential trade candidates, he has the best contract. He is signed through next season at a cap hit of $3 million AAV. He is fast and can score. He has found a home in Florida after bouncing around a bit earlier in his career. He scored a career high 31 goals and 58 points in 74 games last season and the Panthers have really missed the scoring he provided. He would also be easy to move and may fetch the best return from a contender.

Reinhart has the highest cap hit and is signed through next season as well. His cap hit is $6.5 million AAV which would be difficult for a contender to fit in and stay under the cap. He provides a good amount of scoring and can be utilized at centre or the wing. Because of his contract, he is the least likely of the three to be on the move.

So that leaves us with Bennett. It is a close one between Duclair and Bennett. Just like Duclair, Bennett found a home in Florida and has broken out. He is their second line centre, but the team has some younger centermen who can fill spots down the middle if he is traded. Anton Lundell is already ready to assume that role and Bennett would clear $4.4 million in cap space for two more seasons. That cap hit will be attractive for contenders as it is more reasonable to fit on their team. Bennett provides a mix of scoring and physicality that is perfect for playoffs as well.

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