NHL Rumors: Panthers Have Plan To Move Reinhart Or Bennett

The Florida Panthers are being forced to make a decision as to which forward they will have to trade. They have been in a large amount of cap trouble all season, running with less than a 23-man roster.

Anthony Duclair has been on the long-term injured reserve all season and has a cap hit of $3 million AAV. He also has one more year remaining on his contract. The Panthers don't want to trade him as the value he brings for his cap hit is very good. He scored 31 goals and 58 points in 71 games last season and is nearing a return.

Frank Seravalli said that he thinks the Panthers have a move in their back pocket for Sam Reinhart or Sam Bennett. This would mean they are likely waiting for their team to get a little more healthy before they go and trade one of their top-six players.

The Panthers are currently without Duclair and Patric Hornqvist due to injury. Duclair is the player the team is likely waiting for to pull the trigger in trading one of Reinhart or Bennett.

Bennett finally broke out when he first arrived in Florida during the 2020-21 season. He scored 34 goals and 64 points in 81 games with the Panthers before this season, but has just eight goals and 25 points in 40 games in 2022-23. He is in the second year of a four-year contract with a cap hit of $4.425 million AAV.

Reinhart on the other hand has one more year remaining on his deal that has a higher cap hit of $6.5 million AAV. He arrived in Florida before the 2021-22 season and fit right in, scoring over a point-per-game with 33 goals and 82 points in 78 games. His production is also down this season.

Bennett may pique the interest of playoff teams in need of physicality and scoring, but Reinhart should be able to put up more points and is less of a commitment. I'm sure the Panthers would like to keep both, but have put themselves in a bad spot cap-wise.

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