Florida Panthers place franchise defenseman Aaron Ekblad on trade block

Marvin Azrak
June 28, 2024  (9:01)

Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthefs
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Fresh off their first Stanley Cup championship, the Florida Panthers are reportedly considering a big move involving one of their top players.

On Thursday night, David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period revealed that the Panthers are shopping Aaron Ekblad, the 2014 first overall pick, this summer.
According to multiple well-placed sources, the Panthers are shopping 2014 first-overall pick Aaron Ekblad, who is entering the final year of his contract, and have already had discussions with some teams about his availability.
The 28-year-old defenseman is entering the final year of his contract where he will make $7.5 million.
While the Panthers are exploring trade options, Ekblad has expressed a desire to stay in South Florida and sign a contract extension. He is eligible to start extension talks on Monday.
"It is my understanding his preference is to stay in South Florida and that he would be willing to take a «hometown discount» on an extension, but that hasn't prevented Panthers GM Bill Zito from exploring the trade market.

Ekblad has been injury-prone in recent years but remains a solid top-pairing defenseman. This past season, he played 51 regular-season games, tallying four goals and 18 points. He added six points in 22 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
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Longtime Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad may be on the move this summer.
Trading Ekblad, who is set to earn $7.5 million next season, would be a significant move for Panthers GM Bill Zito. However, it could bring a substantial return for the team and clear cap space.