Sean Bergenheim’s days in a Florida Panthers uniform could come to an end soon as it has been reported that the disgruntled winger’s camp has requested a trade.
Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel reports that Bergenheim’s agent, Todd Diamond, requested a trade following a string of healthy scratches. Bergenheim was in the press box on Friday night as the Panthers played the Dallas Stars.
Diamond told the Sun Sentinel recent criticism from Panthers head coach Gerard Gallant was “unprofessional …disgraceful…distasteful and bush league.”
Gallant responded prior to Friday’s game saying “I haven’t picked on [Bergenheim]. If he gave me 100 percent [against the Wild], he’d be playing tonight. That’s fair.”
Bergenheim has eight goals and 18 points in 39 games to go along with a plus-2 plus/minus rating. He is among the top five players on Panthers in terms of Corsi for percentage and Fenwick for percentage. The 31-year-old is averaging 14:09 per night, which is over two minutes below his average in his previous two seasons with the Panthers.
Diamond didn’t pull any punches in his criticism of how Gallant has handled his client.
“It’s unprofessional of the coach,” Diamond said. “You get away with that in the Quebec junior league, but not in the NHL. … You can’t tell me the team is better without Sean playing, even on the fourth line. He’s a disruptive force in the offensive zone, who keeps the puck and creates chaos.”
Diamond reportedly approached Panthers general manager Dale Tallon about a trade nine days ago after Bergenheim was scratched for three consecutive games.
Bergenheim carries a cap hit of $2.75 million and is in the final year of his contract. He could make for a nice addition to a contender looking to solidify its bottom six forwards with a proven two-way player.
The Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins have been rumoured to be in the market for depth forwards, although both teams currently lack the cap space to add Bergenheim.