Teddy Purcell to Panthers: Latest Trade Details, Comments and Reaction

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2016

Edmonton Oilers right wing Teddy Purcell (16) gets into position for a face-off against the Minnesota Wild during the second period of an NHL hockey game in St. Paul, Minn., Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)
Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press

The Florida Panthers are busy adding talent to their roster for the stretch run, as they have reportedly acquired Teddy Purcell from the Edmonton Oilers. 

According to George Richards of the Miami Herald, the Panthers will receive Purcell from the Oilers in exchange for a third-round pick. ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun confirmed the deal. 

The addition of Purcell came less than one hour after Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported the Panthers acquired Jiri Hudler from the Calgary Flames in exchange for two draft picks. 

The Panthers are clearly trying to put some distance between themselves and the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division. The Bruins and Lightning are each three points behind Florida for the division lead, while the Panthers and Lightning each have 35 wins. 

One of Florida's biggest weaknesses this season is a lack of depth at right wing. Jaromir Jagr has been the Panthers' best player this season, but he's also 44 years old and is playing just over 17 minutes per game. 

Reilly Smith is having a solid season behind Jagr, but the drop from that duo to Logan Shaw is steep. Purcell has 32 points this season, including 21 assists, which would rank fourth on the Panthers roster. 

No one can accuse the Panthers of hoping things work out in their favor, as Richards noted they have taken on more than $2 million in salary with the additions of Purcell and Hudler. They also played things smart by acquiring players who will become unrestricted free agents after the season and not trading from their young nucleus of talent. 

The Panthers haven't made the Stanley Cup playoffs since 2011-12, losing in the opening round to New Jersey. This is their best team in years, and it just needed some slight tweaks, which the front office pulled off on Saturday.