The Future of the Florida Panthers

A complete turnaround from last year’s 47-26 record, that resulted in the team’s first playoff appearance since 2012, the Panthers finished the 2016-2017 season with a 35-36 record, mainly because of injuries to vital players.

Despite finishing 6th in the Atlantic and missing the playoffs, all is not lost for the Panthers entering the offseason.

No need to sulk on what happened this season, instead it is time to build for the future.

Florida still has much talent on its team, and this year the Panthers will have the 10th pick of the draft. History shows that the 10th pick favors Florida with additions such as Radek Dvorak, Michael Frolic ,and Keaton Ellerby , who were all number 10 overall.

Mar 11, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad (5) during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The panthers have five selections and according to NHL.com, General Manager Dale Tallon believes the Panthers will have luck selecting a young and talented player to help the future for the Panthers.

Tallon has more than the draft on his plate, the panthers are still searching for a new head coach.

After a 11-10 record, former GM Tom Rowe fired Gerard Gallant, who was the Panthers head coach for two and a half years. It’s been reported that Tallon has interviewed around six people for the open head coaching position and names including Bob Boughner, Jim Montgomery, and Micheal Therrien have been mentioned.

In addition to finding a head coach, Tallon still has to decide the future of Jarmomir Jagr.

The 45 year old is an unrestricted free agent this off-season and there is still no guarantee that he will be in a Panthers’ uniform next season. His leadership and ability to play long minutes is not what is in question, but for how much longer?

Jagr has only signed one year deals because it is still uncertain his longevity due to his age, however Tallon is on record stating he wants to do what is best for Jagr. Tallon is expected to meet with Jagr’s agent and there is a possibility of another one-year deal.

Jagr play in all 82 games last season and finished with16 goals and 30 assist totaling 46 points, the fourth highest points racked in from a skater on the roster.

Vincent Trocheck also played in all 82 and lead the team with 54 points he had 23 goals and 31 assist.

Despite missing 21 games due to a back injury, Aleksander Barkov, collected 52 points, the second highest on the roster, while Jonathan Marchessault closely followed with 51 points in 75 games played.

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