Florida Panthers Report Card: Riley Sheahan
Offense Grade: D
Riley Sheahanâ€™s game has never been based on offense. He has a career high point total of just 36 points and in 2016-17, while with the Detroit Red Wings, he notoriously played the first 81 games of the season without scoring a goal, but finally scored two in the final game of the season which was the last game at Joe Louis Arena. So, when he was traded by the Penguins and arrived here in Sunrise, none of us were expecting much offense. But, Sheahan failed to provide even the slightest offensive punch in his 33 games played with the Panthers. He recorded just two goals and eight assists.The assist total isnâ€™t horrible for a fourth liner. But, the goals were so rare that it is hard to excuse. The Panthers have been without any scoring threat from the bottom line for years. Derek Mackenzie wasnâ€™t an offensive threat. Juho Lammiko played half the season and has yet to record an NHL goal. And Sheahan has not shown any offensive prowess other than some decent forechecking, puck-cycling, and possession. Those are all valuable to an extent, but the Panthers need a more dangerous offensive weapon on their fourth line.
Defense Grade: B-
Sheahan proved to be a decent grinder type player on defense. He won a fair amount of big face-offs and proved to be a valuable addition to the penalty kill. He was relatively physical and would throw the body. He also wasnâ€™t afraid to get in front of a shot to come up with a big block from time to time. He was certainly a steady and reliable presence on the defensive side of the ice. Heâ€™s not the fastest skater and struggles to make an accurate lead pass to his wingers from time to time so he loses some credit here. Aside from that, he is the type of player you can trust with a penalty kill or to be on the ice in the final minutes to preserve a lead.
overall grade: C-
Sheahan gets an overall grade of C- because he has a well-rounded defensive game but falls woefully short on the offensive end. He is essentially an average or slightly below average player if you put it all together. It will be interesting to see whether or not the Panthers keep him around from this point on. His roster spot should likely go to a younger player/prospect who could use the NHL time and provide more skill. But, I personally like Sheahanâ€™s veteran presence, grit, playoff experience, and toughness. Weâ€™ll have to see what the Panthersâ€™ management and coaching staff decide about his future going forward. My gut tells me he wonâ€™t be back next year because you can fill his role with a cheaper option, but the decision makers may decide that he brings a veteran influence at the right price. Either way, Sheahan grades out at a C- for his 33-game Panthers stint and weâ€™ll see if he sticks around in Sunrise moving forward.