3 Free-Agent Defensemen Linked to Florida Panthers

The Florida Panthers are not expected to have defensemen Aaron Ekblad or Brandon Montour available when the 2032-24 season opens up. They will be active in the free-agent market this summer and hockey insider Frank Seravalli sees them having interest in the following defensemen:

Matt Dumba

The Minnesota Wild would like for Dumba to return, however it appears he's going to test the market on July 1. As a righty, he'd be a nice holding chip until Ekblad or Montour return. Dumba's offensive game has fallen these last couple of seasons but he's capable of playing on the power play and is an effective penalty killer. He recorded 14 points in 79 games last season. At 28 years old, Dumba will be high demand and may be priced out of the Panthers wheel house.

John Klingberg

If Klingberg is open to another short-term contract, it could come in the sunshine state. Like Dumba, he finished the season in Minnesota and registered 33 points in 67 games. Another four points in four Stanley Cup Playoff games, Klingberg showed he's capable of stepping up in big games. He was once one of the better offensive defensemen in the league and could easily get back to this type of production. Especially with a top-two opportunity with the Panthers while they deal with injury troubles next season.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson

It's going to be fun to watch what exactly happens with Ekman-Larsson. The Vancouver Canucks paid him $20 million to go away and now he's a free bird this summer. He's been linked to the Boston Bruins in the past and they remain a serious suitor, however a top-four chance with the Panthers could be appealing. It's likely he signs with a contender and Florida will be back in contention next season. They have a ton of players returning. If you look back at Kevin Shattenkirk, he signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning after being bought out by the New York Rangers and made $1.75 million. Look for Ekman-Larsson to settle for around the same.

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