Analysis: Panthers need a lot more than just Cory Stillman

Author:
Publish date:
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

I don’t like the three-year, $9.6 million deal that Cory Stillman signed Tuesday with Florida – and not because I think the Panthers aren’t getting a talented, reliable goal-scorer. They certainly are, and Stillman almost certainly will give them at least 20 goals and 50 points each season he’s in Sunrise.

Here’s why I don’t like it: in almost doubling the salary of a guy who’ll turn 35 in December, did Florida GM Jacques Martin make his team significantly better? Did he turn heads the way the Lightning did by acquiring Ryan Malone, Gary Roberts and Olaf Kolzig? Did he bowl over his fans with a big-time gamble, the way the Capitals did by signing Jose Theodore? Did he risk breaking a cardinal sin in the GM community and reach out with an offer to a restricted free agent, the way Vancouver’s Mike Gillis did with David Backes?

The answers: Nah, nope and, in the words of Whitney Houston, hells to the no.

They signed Stillman, a nice, upper-middle-tier type of player who more than likely can see his best on-ice years only with the aid of a rearview mirror. But hey, it helps keep the Panthers just above the salary cap floor for next season, and in a wobbly hockey market like South Florida, that’s one of the best things they can hope for these days.

If Stillman were being brought into the organization as part of a bigger package of players, I’d be okay with the deal.

But if this and the Olli Jokinen trade represent the biggest moves the Panthers will make this off-season, mark me down as ‘underwhelmed.’

TOP HEADLINES

USATSI_12937517_168393428_lowres
Play

Habs' Prized Prospect Sits Like a Lump of Cole

Cole Caufield was never going to come in and cure what ails the Montreal Canadiens, but it would have been nice to see what he might be able to accomplish. The problem is, it's probably too late for that now.

2019 Rogers OHL Championship Series_53_05
Play

There Will Be No 2020-21 OHL Season

The top development league came close to a return, but was doomed early by provincial officials.

USATSI_15920286
Play

Will There Ever be Another Patrick Marleau?

Debuting as the league's youngest player, producing throughout his 30s and going 12-plus years without missing a game, Marleau rides the perfect storm to the games record. Will anyone ever top it?