So, what are the Panthers going to do with Savard’s cap space?

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More evidence of a new era in South Florida was presented yesterday when the Panthers made a trade that was all about creating cap space, as opposed to taking it on.

Sending Marc Savard’s contract to New Jersey gave the Panthers additional room to sign some of its key youngsters, as well as improve a roster that’s been getting better but isn’t quite there yet.

From the Sun-Sentinel:

The Panthers, who also saved $2.5 million in the recent trade of defenseman Erik Gudbranson for Canucks forward Jared McCann, are expected to extend the contract of imminent restricted free agent center Vincent Trocheck. They also are expected to use the funds for a multi-year extension for [Reilly Smith], while also re-signing soon-to-be free agent defenseman Brian Campbell.

They should have enough space to land an upper-tier free-agent defenseman such as Jason Demers, Jacob Trouba or Kevin Shattenkirk.

Of note, Shattenkirk isn’t actually a free agent. He has one year left with the Blues. But his name has definitely been out there in trade rumors.

As for Campbell, it originally looked like the 37-year-old would test the market on July 1, but that no longer seems to be the sense.

The Panthers also have a couple of key next-summer RFAs in Aaron Ekblad and Jonathan Huberdeau, so interesting times indeed for new GM Tom Rowe and his staff.

Hey, remember a few years ago when it was all about getting to the floor?

Related: Signing Barkov shows ‘commitment’ to long-suffering Panthers fans