In a series of moves the past few days, the Florida Panthers have added talent and depth to their forward unit.
In are veterans Mike Knuble and Alexei Ponikarovsky. Out are Marco Sturm, Prospects Cory Emmerton and Dalton Smith, and the club's 2nd rounder in 2013.
"Not only did we add veterans to our top 9, but we improved our scoring, physicality, and defense from our forward unit. These guys are gamers," said G.M. Brock Otten.
In practice this morning, Knuble was seen skating with Patrick Sharp and James Neal on the team's 2nd line. While Poni was seen skating with Steve Reinprecht and Cal Clutterbuck on the team's 3rd line. This means that youngster Darren Helm will slide to the 4th line.
"I think this deal definitely makes us a deeper and better team. Gives us more secondary scoring, and solidifies our 4th line. We've had some injury problems among our forwards so far this year too, so it gives us some insurance," says Otten.
The club currently sits 4th in the East, but has the 2nd best winning percentage in the Conference.