Florida Panthers Rumors: 3 Top-4 Offseason Left Defense Targets

The Florida Panthers are going to have much more cap space to work with next season with Keith Yandle's buyout hit dropping $5 million and Patric Hornqvist's $5 million AAV contract coming off of the books. The team had to utilize a couple of players on league-minimum contracts on their defense just to stay cap compliant.

While Josh Mahura got a one-year extension and will continue to play on the third pairing, the Panthers will be looking to majorly upgrade the 2LD spot over Marc Staal who becomes a UFA in the summer. Here are three defensemen that the Panthers can target in free agency.

Brian Dumoulin

The Pittsburgh Penguins might be going in a bit of a new direction after missing the playoffs for the first time in a long time and that might involve changing up a number of players. Management has already been cleaned up and the new people in charge could look to surround the veteran core with some new blood for the remaining few years of their contract.

Brian Dumoulin has only ever known Pittsburgh and has played 546 regular season games with them while winning two Stanley Cups. His experience and focus on strong play in his own end is exactly what the Panthers will be looking to add to help clean up the defensive zone. If he hits free agency, the Panthers will surely be calling.

Dmitry Orlov

It's going to be very hard for the Boston Bruins to keep the team they have right now together next season. There is a high chance that Dmitry Orlov hits free agency as there just isn't enough space in the top-four on Boston or enough cap space to give him what he wants.

Florida is an offensive-minded team and while Orlov showed the offensive talent he possesses once he got traded to the Bruins, he is also very capable in his own end. He would fit perfectly on the first or second pairing beside Aaron Ekblad or Brandon Montour to help replace what they lost in MacKenzie Weegar last summer.

Vladislav Gavrikov

Vladislav Gavrikov already confirmed that he wants to test free agency this season, which means that the Panthers have a fair shot at signing him. His game is focused heavily on the defensive side of the game despite having underrated offensive abilities as well.

Gavrikov has helped shore up the left side of the Los Angeles Kings' defense after the trade deadline and was a solid player for the Columbus Blue Jackets for years before the trade. The Panthers have the motivation to offer him a better deal than a lot of other teams in free agency.

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