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It’s Florida Panthers day on PHT

Aug 3, 2013, 9:15 AM EDT

Jonathan Huberdeau AP

Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The Florida Panthers.

After making the playoffs and winning the Southeast Division two years ago, things went back to “normal” last year for the Panthers. They were last in the division, Eastern Conference, and the league. Things went so poorly they didn’t even land the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

Now that they’ve put that behind them, it appears they’ve got another potentially bumpy season ahead with a very young team. GM Dale Tallon will eventually look like a smart guy when their prospects finally make it to the show, but for now everyone’s going to have some growing pains.

Offseason recap

It all started at the NHL Draft for the Panthers as they selected Aleksander Barkov with the second overall pick giving them a potential No. 1 center to play with Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau. When free agency started, it was more about who wasn’t coming back.

Gone are center Stephen Weiss, winger Peter Mueller and goalie Jose Theodore. They also bought out defenseman Filip Kuba.

Tallon replaced Weiss with Barkov, mainly, but also just brought in Scott Gomez on a one-year deal to try and solidify things up the middle. Forwards Joey Crabb  and Bobby Butler and defenseman Matt Gilroy rounded out their haul and that’s not overly inspiring.

Instead, Florida will hope for better luck with injuries so they can get more from Tomas Fleischmann, Sean Bergenheim, and Kris Versteeg. They’ll also be hoping goalie Jacob Markstrom can shake off a tough rookie year on a bad team and evolve into the No. 1 goalie they believe he can be.

Related:

Introducing: PHT’s ‘Team of the Day’ summer series

  1. withseidelinn - Aug 3, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    It will at least be exciting to see all the young guys play.

  2. DED - Aug 3, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    The roster looks a bit thin to me. They need Versteeg to be healthy, another good year from Kopecky and Matthias, and Markstrom or Clemmensen to be solid in net to have a chance.

  3. bullwinkle88 - Aug 3, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    It will be an exciting contest to see which team is worst – the Panthers or the Sabres.

    • withseidelinn - Aug 3, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      Don’t forget Calgary!

  4. ruthlessandtoothless - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    No mention of Bjugstad?

  5. salmonbuoy - Aug 3, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    Gomez if used properly will add huge to the powerplay and if line mates can snipe will have lots of scoring chances that normally would not have been there. At less than a million Scott G was a good pick up for the Cats..

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