Report: Panthers interested in trade, 8-year extension for Bobrovsky
It seems increasingly likely the Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets may pull off a blockbuster deal.
The Panthers are interested in trading for goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and will entice him with a potential eight-year contract extension, reports Larry Brooks of the New York Post.
It was reported Friday that the Panthers hope to take a run at both Bobrovsky and Columbus' other pending unrestricted free agent, Artemi Panarin, either before the Feb. 25 deadline or during the offseason.
Florida has been active in the trade market thus far, adding Derick Brassard and Riley Sheahan from the Pittsburgh Penguins for Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann over the weekend. The move clears up cap space for the Panthers next season but they'd still need more room to acquire Bobrovsky, Panarin, or both this year.
A potential solution is that the newly acquired Brassard is included in the package heading back to Columbus in a Bobrovsky deal, Brooks adds. That would help Florida's cap structure, and the Blue Jackets and Penguins reportedly had trade talks about the 31-year-old center in January before he was flipped to the Sunshine State.
The other problem for the Panthers is they currently employ Roberto Luongo and James Reimer, who are under contract until 2022 and 2021, respectively, and eat up a combined $7.933 million against the cap.
The Panthers are 21-21-8 this season and sit nine points out of the Eastern Conference's second wild-card spot currently held by the Blue Jackets.
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