The Florida Panthers have traded defenseman Jason Demers to Arizona in exchange for Jamie McGinn, tweets Elliotte Friedman. AZ Sports Craig Morgan confirms the deal is straight up with no other pieces. However, Friedman adds that Florida will retain 12.5 percent of Demers salary in the deal.
Demers is a solid two-way defenseman, finishing last year with nine goals and 19 assists. The 29-year-old defenseman was rumored to be moved several times this offseason, so the trade comes as little surprise.
The Panthers previous management, in hopes of making a Stanley Cup run, signed Demers last summer to a five-year, $22.5MM contract to help man their blueline. However, an 81-point performance last season and with a change in management, the team was suddenly stuck with Demers who no longer fit into their long-term plans and with a remaining four years at $4.5MM annually. In acquiring McGinn, the team almost cuts that cost in half as the 29-year-old wing has just two years remaining at $3.33MM AAV. With his departure, the team may look to several younger possibilities to help fill out their defense.
The 29-year-old McGinn is coming off a regular season in which he put up nine goals and eight assists in 72 games. However, with the team ready to install all of its talented young forwards like Clayton Keller, Christian Dvorak, Christian Fischer, Max Domi, Brendan Perlini and many others into the lineup. McGinn had little place left. It was rumored he was about to have to switch positions in Arizona. Demers, however, would help with a struggling, yet improving blueline. He should solidify the team’s top two pairings on defense, along with Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Alex Goligoski.