On Wednesday, the Florida Panthers added yet another new player to their already revamped roster. The Panthers acquired Krys Barch and a sixth round draft pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft from the Dallas Stars in exchange for left wing Jake Hauswirth, currently playing for the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees of the CHL, and a fifth round pick in 2012. Barch is expected to join the team in Boston on Thursday and wear No. 21.
Barch was drafted in 1998 by the Washington Capitals in the fourth round. The 6'1'', 209 pound winger is expected to add some toughness to a Panthers team that has been sorely lacking it since the injuries to Scottie Upshall and Matt Bradley. In 263 career games, Barch has totaled 26 points and 578 penalty minutes. He is in the final season of a two year deal.
Barch has only played in 10 games this year with Dallas, but should play regular minutes on the Panthers fourth line, at least while Bradley and Upshall continue to heal. He should help the Panthers in the hits department where the Panthers currently rank 24th in the NHL and make teams think twice before taking cheap shots at the Panthers top trio of Stephen Weiss, Kris Versteeg and Tomas Fleischmann. Due to injuries, the Panthers have been playing with a fourth line of mostly AHL caliber players. This move should allow coach Kevin Dineen to confidently go back to rolling four full lines of true NHL ability.