Since joining the Florida Panthers in 2011, Tomas Fleischmann has been a pretty consistent scorer — he led the team with 61 points en route to the Southeast Division title in ’11-12 and led again last year, with 35 points in 48 games.
But this year? Fleischmann is in some kinda slump.
The Czech winger is scoreless in 10 and had just three goals and 12 points through 26 games — putting him fourth on the Panthers in scoring and tied for 7th in goals.
“It’s unbelievable, it’s like nothing I’ve ever had before,” Fleischmann told the Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I’ve put good games together and felt great last game [a 5-1 loss to Pittsburgh].
“Nothing seems to click my way. It’s something guys go through. [Tomas Kopecky] had it before.
“I took it from him and now I have to fight through it, too.”
Kopecky went the first 16 games of the season without a point — yes, a point — before registering an assist against Ottawa on Nov. 9.
(So, as you can see, scoring slumps aren’t uncommon for the Panthers this season).
For Fleischmann, though, this pointless streak could have larger ramifications. He has two seasons remaining on his four-year, $18 million deal — a $4.5 million average annual cap hit — and has been rumored as one of Florida’s veterans available for trade.
But, as you can imagine, there isn’t a big market for $4.5 million scoring wingers that aren’t scoring. It could hamstring Tallon when it comes time to try and make a trade, which won’t be easy to begin with given Fleischmann has a modified no-trade clause.
Of course, the 29-year-old isn’t even looking that far ahead. He wants to sort out his scoring issues and help the Panthers.
“We had a coaching change this month, different lines, so getting used to everything, maybe that’s the reason,” he explained. “I’m trying to be the best player in the game and hopefully, things follow.”