By Rogerio Istiraneopulos of The Rat Trick
Not much good news came from Sochi for Panthers fans. Of the only two players the team sent to the Olympics, one came back in crutches (Aleksander Barkov) and the other (Tomas Kopecky) with a concussion. It seems like both are done for the season as there are only 20 games left and the Panthers are as far away from making the playoffs as Sochi is from South Florida. However, even though Barkov got injured in his second game, he was given a bronze medal as Finland finished third in the competition.
The good news really came right before the trade deadline as the Panthers were able to acquire Brandon Pirri for a pair of future draft picks and Roberto Luongo for prospect Jacob Markstrom and Shawn Matthias. For the first time in a long time, the Panthers were certainly winners at the end of the trade deadline. It is very comforting to have Luongo back as he considers South Florida his home and that should make a statement to the league and the players that the new ownership is very serious about being a contender in this league.