Amerks Look To Panthers as Free Agency Begins

The wishlist for Rochester Americans fans for the upcoming season includes some veteran forwards, defenseman, goaltending, and a player to bring some toughness to the team.  The free agency market begins today and with indications from the Florida Panthers camp that they will be supplying all players for the Amerks this upcoming season, all eyes are on them throughout the rest of the summer to see who they’ll sign.

The Panthers did extend contract offers to restricted free agents Stefan Meyer, Drew Larman, Anthony Stewart, and Martin Lojek.  Even though Lojek has signed to play overseas in the upcoming season, the Panthers extended him an offer in order to retain his rights should he decide to come back.

In order for the Amerks to be successul in the upcoming season it is that simple in terms of bringing in some experience.  It could be debated that had the Amerks had some veteran leadership on the team last season it may have helped the young prospects get through a terrible season.

We need a goaltender to work with Tyler Plante and give the defense some confidence that when they screw up someone will be behind them to help out.

We need an enforcer that knows his role.  Too often last year players were either afraid to be physical, or felt they needed to try and score (which they failed at as well).  Tanner Glass and Stefan Meyer showed they could throw punches when needed, but I don’t think either wants to be known as an “enforcer.”

The biggest key to the puzzle is getting some experience on offense and defense to be the face of the team and lead the team.  A player to help keep the team together if (or when) they start to blow a lead in the second period.  A player to help the team stay confident heading into the third period down by a goal or two and still believe a win is possible.

Once all that is taken care of, the team will need a coaching staff.  Just like shopping for players during free agency, an experienced coaching staff is hopeful.

Lets hope the Panthers are active quickly!