The fantasy take on Florida signing Brad Boyes and Tom Gilbert
The Florida Panthers signed forward Brad Boyes and defenseman Tom Gilbert to contracts on Saturday. Both players were in the Panthers camp on professional tryout contracts, so the transactions aren't completely out of the blue. TSN is reporting Boyes' deal is at one-year $1M, and it is not known what the terms of Gilbert's are, but the two contracts are believed to be similar.
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In Boyes, the Panthers get a veteran who has a nose for the net, as he has had seasons where he posted 33 and 43 goals in his career. At this point those numbers may be wishful thinking, but it isn't unrealistic to think he could be a 20-25 goal scorer over 82 games. The Panthers are very young up front with players like Jonathan Huberdeau, Shawn Matthias, Nick Bjugstad, Drew Shore, and Aleksander Barkov having the potential to play big roles next season. The addition of Boyes gives them a scorer to work with, but he also may end up taking power play minutes away from the group if you are looking at it from a fantasy perspective.
Gilbert brings nearly 450 NHL games to the Panthers blue line and an additional offensive element. Ed Jovanovski is still working his way back from injury, so Gilbert may be a nice insurance policy for Florida to go along with veteran Brian Campbell. Gilbert logged nearly 20 minutes of ice per game last season with the Minnesota Wild, including 1:36 a night on the power play, so young Panther defensemen like Erik Gudbranson and Dmitry Kulikov could see their time with the man advantage cut slightly.
I wouldn't necessarily call myself an expert on Florida's depth chart, but here are some potential line combos the Panthers could look at to start the season: