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05-08-2013, 04:47 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Ottawa
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Hoping for Playoffs, Panthers Make Two Big Trades Before Deadline

Above: Struggling forward Bobby Ryan will join the Panthers.

Above: 24-year old two-way defenseman Danny DeKeyser will also join the Panthers.

The Florida Panthers are in a bit of a predicament. They are 4th in the league for goals against per game, with 2.37. However, their goals for per game rating is one of the worst in the league, at 2.33. They have the 2nd best penalty kill, at 87.2%, but have an abysmal powerplay which is clicking at 15.9%. Coach Kevin Dineen has tried many different line combinations and strategies but the team just cannot score. Jonathan Huberdeau leads the team with 49 points in 60 games.

Despite all this, the Panthers hold a record of 28-25-7, 6 points out of a playoff spot. Their management apparently believes that they can still make the playoffs, and they showed it by making two trades in an attempt to increase scoring.

First, right-winger Bobby Ryan (85) was acquired from the Anahiem Ducks in exchange for Dmitry Kulikov (84). Ryan only has 26 points in 60 games, but the Ducks are not a playoff team and Ryan has less-than-stellar linemates in Matt Belesky and Andrew Cogliano. People questioned this trade, because of Ryan's recent struggles and the fact that the Panthers just took a rather large piece out of their top-notch D-core. However, just about three hours later, those worries were put to rest when the Panthers made another trade.

Florida sent two prospects to the non-playoff bound Detroit Red Wings in exchange for 24-year old defenseman Danny DeKeyser (83 overall, 4 stars). The prospects sent to Detroit were D Pierrick Beutler (61, 2.5 stars) and RW Scott Teskey (49, 3.5 stars). DeKeyser will take over Kulikov's spot in the lineup on the Panthers' second defense pairing and will receive top powerplay minutes.

Now the question is, will the Florida Panthers qualify for the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs? Stay tuned to find out.

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