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Panthers to cut ties with Upshall, Kopecky: 'We’re going to go young,' says GM

Dave Sandford / Getty

Youth is definitely being served.

Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon announced Thursday the club will not seek to retain the services of unrestricted free agents Scottie Upshall and Tomas Kopecky, choosing instead to continue to build through the draft and take a look at younger options on the open market.

"We’re going to go young and see what’s available July 1," Tallon said. "I like young teams, I like young players. We have some good young players in our system and we’re going to give them an opportunity. I think that’s the direction we need to go in."

Tallon said the club will look to add a scoring winger with the 11th pick at the NHL Draft, but remains open to trading the pick for a proven talent.

"There are a lot of different good young players in this draft that fit our needs, so we’ll see what happens," he said. "If something shakes up and there’s a startling pick in the first 10, that opens up more possibilities for us.

"But we’re willing to do anything to make our team better, and right now, if you look at our depth chart, speed and scoring are two things that we really would like to have."

The Panthers finished this past season with 91 points - seven back of a playoff spot.

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