Spencer Knight – Florida Panthers
This one might take some convincing, but the Florida Panthers former first-round pick missed most of this season when he entered the NHL and NHLPA’s shared player assistance program. It would be in bad taste to talk about Knight’s “value” in light of all this.
What we can talk about is how the Panthers made the Stanley Cup Final without Knight. Sergei Bobrovsky turned back the clock, carrying the team with Matthew Tkachuk to an Eastern Conference championship. Just to get in the playoffs, Alex Lyon carried the team in the regular season. The Panthers were just fine with Knight getting himself better.
Knight is back on the ice, and it looks like he is ready to restart his career. Meanwhile, the Panthers signed Anthony Stolarz to a one-year contract. That seems like a safety valve for the Panthers if Knight isn’t ready.
Knight’s $4.5 million contract could also open a lot for the Panthers if he was on another team. He is still a fantastic talent. The Devils could be just what he needs to get his head right in the game of hockey. Knight was hanging out with Trevor Zegras, who is very good friends with Jack Hughes. Knight and Hughes came up together in the US development program. They have a bond from that, and the way Hughes has created this bond in the locker room could be the right environment for Knight to thrive.