Kostka Special

The Florida Panthers placed Mike Kostka on waivers earlier today. He’s one of several AHL level defenders with waiver rights and a 24 hour window.

Kostka is a very interesting player because of his skill set and the numbers he posted in the American Hockey League. He’s also interesting in that the NHL team Kostka players for (Florida Panthers) has more depth than the Edmonton Oilers.

In this way, Kostka represents a possible “gem” via the waiver wire.

The Florida Panthers aren’t the 75 Habs on the blueline, but the team does have plenty of experience and high draft picks:

  1. Edi Jovanoski
  2. Brian Campbell
  3. Mike Weaver
  4. Jason Garrison
  5. Dmitri Kulikov
  6. Keaton Ellerby
  7. Erik Gudbranson

That’s a pretty good group of players–Oilers would do well to acquire players 3 through 7–although experience at the tail end is lacking. Having said that, the demotion of Kostka means that Edmonton has a chance to acquire a young defender with a decent chance of having an NHL career.


  • Has good size for NHL blue (6.02, 210)
  • Can move the puck well and has improved in the AHL (fewer mistakes, good reads) during his 236 regular season games at that level.
  • Is young enough (25) to help a team after growing into a role in the NHL (should he prove able to do it).
  • He appears to have turned the corner. Panthers coach Kevin Dineen: “He’s just found a level of stability. He’s a little older, a college guy who’s been in the pros for three years. His intelligence has been a strong point. He’s got patience with the puck, so he’s done a good job in training camp and has earned a longer look.” Source is here.
  • He finished 3rd in AHL points among defensemen a year ago (54) and led the league in goals by a defender (16).
  • He finished in a tie for 16th for PP goals (11) last season in the AHL. His 20 PP assists also tied him for 16th in that category
  • He shot the puck 199 times last year in the AHL. That total ranked him 2nd in the AHL among defensemen.

I think it would be foolish to expect a big offensive season from this player if he were to be claimed and then inserted into the lineup. However, that’s not the threshold we are concerned with; the line in the sand we’ve establushed is Taylor Chorney–is he better than Chorney?

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