Taking a Look at the Panthers’ Trade Deadline Haul

The NHL Trade Deadline, which was at 3:00 PM Eastern Time on Monday, has now come and gone. No more significant changes are likely to occur to team rosters between now and the end of the season. One of the busiest teams in the week leading up to the Trade Deadline was the Florida Panthers. The team has been involved in five trades since the start of last week.

A couple of the trades involved the Panthers sending a player away for a draft pick, including the Frank Vatrano deal (which netted them a 2022 4th round pick) and the deal that sent Max Domi from the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Carolina Hurricanes (in which Florida retained part of Domi’s salary in exchange for a 2022 6th round pick and forward Egor Korshkov).

But the other three trades were deals that brought impact players to Sunrise to bolster the team for the playoff race. Let’s take a look at the Panthers’ three new trade deadline additions.

Ben Chiarot

The Panthers acquired the 30-year-old defenseman on March 16 from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for 20-year-old forward Ty Smilanic, a 2022 4th round pick, and a 2023 1st round pick. Montreal also agreed to retain 50 percent of Chiarot’s salary.

Ben Chiarot Montreal Canadiens
Ben Chiarot (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Chiarot, who spent 2014-2019 in Winnipeg after being drafted 119th overall by the then-Atlanta Thrashers in the 2009 NHL Draft, was in the final year of a three-year, $10.5 million contract he signed with Montreal in 2019. With the cellar-dwelling Canadiens likely to lose him to free agency this offseason, he was surrounded by plenty of trade buzz.

Chiarot strengthens and adds more depth to the defense for the first-place Panthers as they make a run at the Stanley Cup. In 54 games with Montreal this season, he has 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists).

Robert Hagg

On March 20, the Panthers sent a 2022 6th round pick (via the Calgary Flames) to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for the 27-year-old defenseman. Though not as flashy as their two other acquisitions, Hagg adds more depth to a defense that Florida wants to keep fresh for the postseason.

Robert Hagg Buffalo Sabres
Robert Hagg (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

Hagg was selected 41st overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2013 NHL Draft. As a rookie in 2017-18, he led the league in hits before getting injured on March 10, 2018. He spent 2017-2021 in Philadelphia before being traded to Buffalo in July of last year.

In conjunction with the Chiarot trade, this move bolsters and deepens the Florida defense, and defensive depth can come in handy during a playoff run. In 48 games for Buffalo this season, Hagg has eight points (one goal, seven assists).

Claude Giroux

One of the biggest fish of this year’s trade deadline was landed by the Panthers when they acquired the 34-year-old right winger from Philadelphia on March 19 in exchange for forwarding Owen Tippett, a 2023 third-round pick, and a 2024 first-round pick. Giroux, in the final year of an eight-year contract, agreed to waive his no-move clause to go to Florida.

Claude Giroux Philadelphia Flyers
Claude Giroux (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Giroux has been a staple in Philadelphia since being drafted 22nd overall by the Flyers in 2006. He has averaged over a point per game in five different seasons, including 2017-18 when he finished with 102 points (34 goals, 68 assists), and he continues to be a reliable scorer.

Giroux is expected to play on the top line alongside star center Aleksander Barkov. He should add even more playmaking ability to an already-explosive offense that currently leads the NHL in goals per game (4.06). In 57 games for the Flyers this season, the 15-year veteran has 42 points (18 goals, 24 assists).

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The Panthers’ Trade Deadline moves, which include adding a defensive difference-maker in the last year of his contract (Ben Chiarot), an impactful defensive depth piece (Robert Hagg), and a veteran playmaker in the last year of his contract (Claude Giroux), indicate that they are all in this season as they pursue a Stanley Cup title. A team that already looks like the best in the league just got even more dangerous.

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