It was a crucial moment in the franchise's history because it marked the moment Dale Tallon stopped stripping down the NHL roster and started rebuilding it. It also gave the Panthers professional players ready to fill spots while their younger players developed within the organization. Without it, they don't win the Southeast Division this past season.
But the biggest accomplishment of Tallon's spending?
It got the Panthers to the salary-cap floor.
Without the necessity to get to the floor, there's no way Florida is as aggressive in handing out money in free agency.
This summer, the salary floor has been set at $54.2 million for next season. And yet, three days into free agency there's not a single franchise showing anything close to the urgency Florida showed to get to the floor.
The teams in the hunt for Ryan Suter and Zach Parise are teams like Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia, teams traditionally near the top of the salary-cap range. Others that have spent aggressively so far in free agency include a Calgary team that trails only Boston in payroll for next season and other traditional spenders like Vancouver and Montreal.
Players are being snapped up in free agency, and still there are 17 teams currently under the projected floor (all numbers per CapGeek.com). It's safe to say many teams are betting that the floor won't look too much like its current form when the new CBA is settled.
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