KK Members Blog
Florida has a number of excellent up and coming players, an area of promise but also an area of potential disappointment. These include the just drafted Barkov, said to be ready to step into an NHL lineup right away and likely to center at some point the the Calder rookie winner Huberdeau, who has the skill to be a star player for years to come. Headlining the promising young defensemen are Kulikov and Gudbranson, both developing into solid top four or even top two defensemen and both still young, especially for defensemen. Markstrom has been widely touted as a top goalie prospect for a few years and is likely to be given a legitimate shot at starting from the get go this season. Other promising young players are Shore, Bjugstad, Howden, Matthias, Matheson, and Petrovic.
In 2011 Dale Tallon stepped in as GM and made a number of moves and signings that brought in a number of overpaid players, partly to get above the cap floor. Tallon brought in and then resigned Versteeg, as well as trading for Campbell, whose contract has been criticized widely as being too much for his value. Other signings included Jovanovski, Upshall, Kopecky, and Bergenheim, and each of the aforementioned players have arguably or certainly failed to play up to their contracts. This may be due to injury, but regardless, these contracts will cripple the team's ability to spend especially through the 14-15 season and also through the 15-16 season.
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