Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Among the East’s ‘Also-Rans’: Have the Panthers improved?

SI's Allan Muir looks at the Eastern Conference's "also-ran" (i.e. non-playoff) teams, determining whether their summertime moves have improved the respective 8 non-playoff finishers or whether the teams are just treading water, and he discusses a team not talked about very much in the Florida Panthers:

Florida Panthers (91 points, 10th)

You have to give them credit. The Panthers proved to be surprisingly competitive last season, far exceeding expectations for a roster that relied so heavily on youth and fading glory. They’ll go with a similar formula next fall, hoping that youngsters such as Aaron Ekblad and Jonathan Huberdeau continue to progress and veterans like Jaromir Jagr have more than fumes in the tank.

The team’s one major move of the summer saw it ship out one inconsistent forward in Jimmy Hayes for another in Reilly Smith. The former Bruin is the more established of the two with 33 goals and 91 points during the past two seasons, and he fills a need at right wing created by the buyout of Brad Boyes. As far as upgrades go, it’s not going to get Florida over the hump. Unless GM Dale Tallon has something else up his sleeve, it looks like the Panthers are hoping for significant internal growth. That should keep them in the hunt, but they’ll need to catch a few breaks to make the cut.

Muir continues...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: aaron+ekblad, dale+tallon, florida+panthers, jaromir+jagr, jimmy+hayes, jonathan+huberdeau, reilly+smith

Comments

Be the first to comment.

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com