Sports Illustrated’s Alex Prewitt is reporting that a minor deal has gone down between the Anaheim Ducks and Florida Panthers, with the clubs exchanging depth forwards. Going out west to is Logan Shaw, while Michael Sgarbossa is heading back east. The Panthers are treading water right now – playing .500 hockey in their past ten games and currently tied for fifth in the Atlantic Division – and are hoping that Sgarbossa, who has played nine games thus far in 2016-17, can help to shake up their lineup. The Ducks on the other hand are flourishing, having fixed their early season issues and climbed into a tie atop the Pacific Division. As of right now, they can afford the luxury of having Shaw, who played 53 games last season, be a depth option for the team.
Sgarbossa may finally get the chance in Florida to have the breakout performance that he has been unable to find thus far in his young career. An undrafted free agent in 2012, Sgarbossa signed with the San Jose Sharks in 2010, but continued to play at the junior level. At the NHL Trade Deadline in 2012, he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche alongside Jamie McGinn as part of a deal for Daniel Winnik and T.J. Galiardi. After putting up 102 points in just 66 games with the Sudbury Wolves in his final OHL junior season, Sgarbossa excited the Avalanche with the possibilities of a passed-up prospect. However, Sgarbossa was thrown into the Avs lineup at 20 years old, and was unable to record a point in six games and demoted to the AHL. Although his minor league numbers were strong with the Lake Erie Monsters, Sgarbossa remained relegated for most of 2012-13 and all of 2013-14. After failing to make an impression in three more games in 2014-15, Sgarbossa was traded again, this time to Anaheim for defenseman Mat Clark. Last season, Sgarbossa got into just one game for the Ducks, while continuing to play well in the AHL, now for the San Diego Gulls. So far in 2016-17, the 24-year-old has a career-high nine game played and two points, but has still struggled to carve out a role for himself. With potential to be a contributor at the NHL level, perhaps one more change of scenery is what Sgarbossa needs to establish himself.
Shaw’s career path has followed a more stable path, but contains just as much untapped potential. A third-round pick by the Florida Panthers back in 2011, Shaw made his name as one of the strongest and toughest forwards in the QMJHL. Although he was a point-per-game player in his final junior season with the Quebec Remparts, while continuing to dominate physically, he had a hard time taking translating that success to the pro level. In his first professional season in 2013-14, Shaw spent 20 games with Panthers ECHL affiliate, the Cincinnati Cyclones, and the remainder of the year in the AHL with the San Antonio Rampage, and did not find much scoring success on either team. After playing in the AHL for the entirety of the following season, Shaw got the call in 2015-16 to take an energy line roll for the Panthers. In 53 games with the team, Shaw had just seven points, but earned his ice time by playing physical while staying out of the penalty box. Although the Panthers gave Shaw a one-year contract extension this summer, he was not given his spot back on the team this season. Shaw has yet to play an NHL game this season and has just six points in 13 games with the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds. However, he has proven himself to be a reliable checking line player at the highest level, and could be given the chance to carve out a nice bottom-six role for himself in Anaheim.