Monster trade rumour ruins Stanley Cup party in Florida

Monster trade rumour ruins Stanley Cup party in Florida

Bomb dropped in trade talks:

Chris Gosselin

Just days after winning the Stanley Cup in front of their fanbase in Florida, the Panthers are reportedly shopping veteran defenseman Aaron Ekblad, per David Pagnotta of the Fourth Period.

“According to multiple well-placed sources, the Panthers are shopping 2014 first-overall pick Aaron Ekblad, who is entering the final year of his contract, and have already had discussions with some teams about his availability.”

Panthers insider David Dwork also reported the rumour that is bound to ruin the championship party for the Panthers.

Ekblad, who was selected first overall by Florida back in 2014, is entering the final season of his contract with an AAV of $7.5 million. His no-movement clause becomes a 12-team no-trade list on July 1.

The defenseman has spent his entire career with the Panthers, a total of nearly 700 career games played and has recorded just under 350 career points, along with winning the Calder trophy, and now, the Stanley Cup.

Despite the championship, Ekblad struggled this postseason, putting just six points in 24 contests and averaging more than a giveaway per game. His ice time dropped, though he was still logging more than 22 minutes a night.

The Panthers are looking to make room on their cap to re-sign fellow blue liner Brandon Montour. If Ekblad lands on the block, there is a strong belief that the Toronto Maple Leafs will come calling as they have previously expressed interest in the defenseman, but have also been linked to Montour, who nearly doubled Ekblad’s scoring in the playoffs. On top of that, in terms of cap space, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet has revealed on the 32 Thoughts podcast that the "consensus agreement around the league is believed that Sam Reinhart and the Florida Panthers have already locked up a new contract at an assumed “9-9.5m per year AAV.” Less and less room for Ekblad... 

That would be a bold move by Florida just days after winning their first Stanley Cup... This will be worth keeping an eye on in the coming days.