VIEW FROM THE TOP: Florida Panthers

As the self-appointed spokesmen/woman of the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, we are using the idea of "To the victors go the spoils" quite seriously. What we will do between now and the night the Stanley Cup banner is raised in the United Center is point out the shortcomings of all the teams that won't have four crisp new banners in their rafters. We continue this series with the Florida Panthers.

Just to be clear - I can't stress this strongly enough - that isn't a photoshop you see. That is the Florida Panthers' actual marketing plan for the 2013-14 season. The same one the Chicago Blackhawks used in 2007-08, right up until John McDonough took over, and asked if anybody could explain what it meant. When nobody could, the whole "Red Rising" thing got shitcanned. But at least there was the promise of exciting hockey, right?



 
Oops. Well, this is what Panthers' GM Dale Tallon is going for down in America's Wang - trying to recreate the Blackhawks' rebuild of the late aughts. How is he doing? Let's discuss.

FORWARDS:

Last night on the Second Balcony Breakdown podcast, I talked about what a nice pickup Jonathan Drouin was for the Panthers in the draft. Turns out it was Tampa. Florida got Aleksander Barkov, who with Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau gives them two very promising young forwards. Every other forward they have is either banged up pretty badly (Tomas Fleischmann, Kris Versteeg), mediocre (Tomas Kopecky) or shitty (everyone else). I don't think anybody's going to need to rush to change the bulb in the goal lamp any time soon.

DEFENSE:

There's actually some good news here. They've got a veteran who doesn't suck - former Blackhawk Brian Campbell. They also have one who does - their Captain, Ed Jovanoski. Jovanoski only played 6 games last season before he fell and couldn't get up. There are some actual decent young guys like Erik Gudbranson  and Dmitry Kulikov, but they are still making a lot of mistakes out there.

GOALTENDING:

Guess what? More youthful inconsistency. Jacob Markstrom is the Goalie of the Future for the Panthers. He will steal a couple games, and be absolutely atrocious on other nights. But the potential is clearly there.

MUNDANE FACT:

The Panthers currently have the second-lowest payroll in the NHL. So while they suck, at least they're doing it on the cheap.

ARE THEY BETTER THAN THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS?

Not on your life. In fact, they're going to spend a lot of time watching Michael Nylander's kid skate this year, in preparation for their shot at the top pick in the 2014 draft. But after Tallon's making it rain in order to get into the playoffs in 2012, this is clearly a rebuild. And we know here in Chicago that Dale Tallon knows how to rebuild a team. Get your jokes in while you can.

 

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  • 8/29/2013 6:10 PM pantherpride wrote:
    Umm the panthers slogan has been going on for a few years now. Notice Weiss in the photo above. Ever since we removed those ugly blue Jerseys.
    Reply to this
    1. 8/30/2013 9:12 AM Forklift wrote:
      After the piece went up, I saw it's been in use for 2 years. We didn't pay the Eastern Conference much mind last year, since the Hawks never played any of them until June.
      Reply to this

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