The Florida Panthers weren’t the worst team this season, but they were certainly close. Acquiring goaltender Roberto Luongo from the Vancouver Canucks gives them more credibility, but their core of forwards remains a serious concern.
They do have some promising young talent like Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov, but you need only look at the record they’re on the cusp of breaking to realize that much more work needs to be done.
With three games left in the Panthers schedule, Scottie Upshall leads the team with just 36 points. The record for the fewest points in an 82-game season by a team scoring leader is 39. To make matters worse the record-holder, Scott Pellerin, achieved that dubious distinction while playing for the 2000-01 Minnesota Wild in their expansion season.
Pellerin also spent part of the season with Carolina and consequently got those 39 points in 58 games with the Wild. By comparison, Upshall has participated in 73 contests in 2013-14.
“It’s kind of embarrassing that we don’t even have a guy with 40 points,” Upshall admitted, per the Miami Herald. “There’s no leading scorers on this team. We all have to realize we need to be better. You chip away, learn to bury your chances.”
Florida has a couple of other players that might save them from the record in 21-year-old Nick Bjugstad (35 points) and defenseman Brian Campbell (35). Brad Boyes has 34 points, but has missed the team’s last two games with a back injury.
At least they know that they can’t do much worse in this regard next season.