New Jersey Devils: 3 Teams That Should Be In On Sami Vatanen

New Jersey Devils defensemen Sami Vatanen and Ryan Murray (22): (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils defensemen Sami Vatanen and Ryan Murray (22): (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) /
2 of 4
New Jersey Devils
Sami Vatanen #45 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Florida Panthers 

The Florida Panthers might be the surprise of the NHL season. Most analysts are focusing on the disappointments like the Dallas Stars and Buffalo Sabres, but the Panthers have been one of the best stories of the season. They didn’t have a ton of expectations coming in, but with Joel Quenneville running the ship, they are firmly in a playoff spot.

The Panthers are one of the few teams that are allowing fans to watch games at a 25% capacity. That means they are looking to regain ticket revenues at a higher clip than other teams around the league. This will force the team to keep the winning ways alive through the postseason push.

The Panthers defense has been the catalyst in keeping them in the race for the top of the Central Division. They are mostly keeping pace with the Tampa Bay Lightning short of losing a recent two-game series. Aaron Ekblad has been outstanding. Keith Yandle bounced back from early-season embarrassments.

Vatanen has played on his offhand before, so that allows the Panthers to find a place in this lineup. They have Ekblad, Radko Gudas, and Anton Stralman on the right side, but Vatanen could provide crucial depth to the Panthers blue line.

One injury to the Panthers defense could spell doom, because they are basically working at capacity right now. Getting another body like Vatanen in could be really good for their push to the playoffs. This allows them to give older defensemen like Yandle and Strahlman days off as the schedule gets tighter towards the end of the season. It would be a good idea, especially for the price.