Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Florida Panthers Are Legit

12/11/2021 at 12:36pm EST

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

The sun’s shining in Sunrise for the first time in a very long while, much to the credit of Bill Zito, the former player agent and ex-Blue Jackets assistant general manager hired by the Panthers only 15 months ago to replace Dale Tallon as boss.

Now two months into the 2021-22 season, the other NHL team in Florida, the one without back-to-back Stanley Cup titles, has proven it’s no fluke. As the weekend approached, the distant sons of the Miami Rat Pack were lodged atop the league in points percentage (.769) and had lost only four times in regulation — tied with the Capitals for best in show.

“Jarmo had a saying in Columbus,” said Zito, referring to his ex-boss, Jarmo Kekalainen, the former Bruins winger who is the longtime GM of the Blue Jackets, “we value character as a skill.”

Obviously, it takes more than catchy mantras to build a roster and deliver the goods. Zito has proven to be a quick-makeover artist through some masterful roster augmentation, and in part because the Panthers had a number of tantalizing pieces already put in place by Tallon.

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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.

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