The Panthers announced the signings of forwards Jayce Hawryluk, Dryden Hunt and defenseman Thomas Schemitsch to one-year, two-way contracts.
Per the Panthers website:
“Hawryluk, 23, appeared in 42 games in his first NHL season with Florida, producing 12 points (7-5-12). The 5-foot-11, 196-pound native of Yorkton, Saskatchewan, played in 31 games with Florida's American Hockey League affiliate, the Springfield Thunderbirds, recording 32 points (8-24-32).
He was originally selected by Florida in the second round (32nd overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft.
Hunt, 23, appeared in 31 games with Florida, registering 10 points (3-7-10). The 6-foot, 191-pound native of Cranbrook, British Columbia, amassed 44 points (23-21-44) in 51 games with Springfield, matching his AHL career-best in goals (23).
Hunt has played in 42 career NHL regular season games, all with Florida (2017-18 to 2018-19), posting 11 points (3-8-11).
Undrafted, Hunt was originally signed to a three-year, entry-level contract with Florida on March 2, 2016.
Schemitsch, 22, appeared in 56 games with Springfield, producing an AHL career-best 24 points (9-15-24). The 6-foot-4, 200-pound native of Thornhill, Ontario has produced 47 points (20-27-47) over 162 career AHL regular season games.
He was originally selected by Florida in the third round (88th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft.”
I really dig this news – particularly for Hawryluk and Hunt because I’ve become a big fan of both guys. That’s not a knock on Schemitsch, I just don’t know enough about him. But I like that he’s added defensive depth.
Hawryluk brings an edge and has a knack for agitation that makes him tough (and annoying) to play against. In some respects, he reminds me of an Andrew Shaw type player.
I love Hunt’s style because he brings a simplistic approach and what looks like a North-South game. He works hard every shift and fights his way to try and get to the front of the net to cause some chaos.
With prior experience, both guys will continue adding to their NHL resumes, while providing good forward depth heading into the 2019-20 campaign.
[Photo courteousey of Florida Panthers site]
The Cats also agreed to one-year, two-way deals with forward Anthony Greco and Dominic Toninato.
Per the Panthers website:
“Greco, 25, appeared in one game with Florida, making his NHL debut on Dec. 13, 2018 against the Minnesota Wild. The 5-foot-10, 176-pound native of Queens, N.Y., played in 75 games with Florida's American Hockey League affiliate, the Springfield Thunderbirds, producing AHL career-bests in goals (30), assists (29) and points (59). He led the Thunderbirds in goals and points, while leading the AHL in shots on goal (267).
At the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic skills competition, Greco set the AHL All-Star fastest skater record (13.251). Over 224 career AHL regular season games, Greco has posted 138 points (75-63-138).
The undrafted Ohio State University alum was originally signed by Florida on Nov. 21, 2017.
Toninato, 25, appeared in two games with the Colorado Avalanche and scored his first NHL goal on Feb. 14, 2019. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound native of Duluth, Minn., played in 57 games with the Colorado Eagles of the American Hockey League, producing 29 points (14-15-29). In the Calder Cup Playoffs, Toninato registered two assists over four games.
He has played 39 career NHL games with Colorado (2017-18 to 2018-19), recording three points (1-2-3). Over his AHL career, Toninato has posted 41 points (21-20-41) over 88 games.
The University of Minnesota-Duluth alum was originally selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fifth round (126th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.
The Panthers acquired Toninato in a trade with Colorado on June 29, 2019.”
Is The End Nigh for Tallon..?
Last year, I began to think Tallon’s time as Florida’s GM could realistically be coming to an end at season’s close. Then he came out with the statement that the Panthers would be big players and make a splash in free agency. Weirdly, this only reinforced the initial feeling I had, because it seemed if he didn't deliver, he'd be out.
There was a seriousness to his tone and demeanor when he promised big moves from Florida. Though it's hard to explain, something just felt "right." The vibe that he was "all in" really translated - felt liked some of that maverick confidence awakened in him. I suppose the fact that his bosses opened their wallets and removed all restrictions, in an attempt to be competitive and relevant in the league, helped fans feel that they really were for real.
With all eyes on now on Florida, it seems Tallon is probably even more on the ropes than he has been in the past.
Our friends over at The Rat Trick put out a great, detailed article
exploring a number of the thoughts I, and I’m sure a lot of fans, had/have about Tallon and his history with the Cats.
To his credit, Tallon has done his part this offseason and brought in pieces the team needed– most notably Q and Bob (which could be problematic down the line). Add to that, some good signings/extensions to young players, and Dale’s work is inching closer to being complete heading into camp and, ultimately, the season.
When it is time for the puck to drop, Tallon will have to rely on the very same guys he’s brought in to put it all together and get this team trending in the right direction in order and to keep his position – which is the ultimate gamble that every GM makes.
The stakes seem even higher for Tallon this year and it’s going to be interesting to see how things shake out. I have a lot of optimism that the moves will pay off and we’ll see positive results in the 2019-20 season...