Panthers' Ville Koistinen Clears Waivers; Is Trade With Toronto on the Horizon?

Robert YoungContributor INovember 26, 2009

TORONTO - OCTOBER 31:  Niklas Hagman #14 of the Florida Panthers takes a shot from the left wing against the Toronto Maple Leafs during their NHL game at Air Canada Centre on October 31, 2005 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Panthers 2-1. (Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
Dave Sandford/Getty Images

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and especially to Ville Koistinen that just cleared waivers...

Despite being waived, he’s going to be spending Thanksgiving here in South Florida rather than in Rochester of the AHL, for the time being anyway.

However, the question is if the Panthers won’t be putting him on re-entry waivers soon—so that another NHL team can pick him up on a Black Friday sale perhaps.

Poor Ville...

You have to feel sorry for the guy. Despite signing a two-year $2 million deal with the Cats in July, he was never really given a fair chance. After all, we must keep in mind that he played all of his 17 games for the Cats out of position. And playing as a forward is not easy for a defenseman, with a few rare exceptions.

However, life is tough sometimes and coach Peter DeBoer was not happy with Ville and his contributions to the team. And if you don’t have the confidence of the head coach, for whatever reason, then it’s probably better to move on anyway.

We’ll see what the fate of Koistinen will be. One can’t help but wonder if this move was not only made to make room for the big enforcer Steve MacIntyre to be recalled, but perhaps also to accommodate some valuable cap space for a trade?

I know the Panthers have been mentioned in connection with our next opponents on Friday: The Toronto Maple Leafs.

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We have previously seen teams come to town and make trades just prior to or after the game. The Leafs are, according to several reports, looking for a trading partner and perhaps Florida holds the bait for a deal to be hashed out?

I don’t want to fume the trade talk more than necessary, but if I were GM—and we are all no doubt blessing the fact that I’m not—I’d be one of the five teams or so reportedly looking at LW Niklas Hagman right now.

We know the former Panthers draft pick from 1999 well, he knows South Florida, and seeing as our regular top three left wingers—Booth, Stillman, and Campbell—are all out with injuries, it might make some sense in acquiring another left winger that could play on the top lines.

Hagman has already 15 points on the season for the struggling Maple Leafs. That would make him tied for third in scoring with the Cats, who could certainly use that kind of help in the scoring department.

The Leafs would be loathed to lose one of the few players they have that is playing well, but throw in a draft pick or two, perhaps a medium-range prospect to sweeten the deal, and Toronto’s GM Brian Burke might be willing to consider the offer.

I might add there is no current rumor out there suggesting this or any other trade is possibly in the offing, however, I do find this idea intriguing and would be interested in hearing what people have to say about it.

I know Hagman wasn’t a big hit when he was here in South Florida a few years ago, but, like many other players, he has developed into a solid NHL player after leaving the club.

With Toronto being in a problematic situation, perhaps this is the perfect opportunity to get Niklas back here to show what he can do for us now that he’s matured.

What do you think, deal or no deal, what would you do?


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