The Florida Panthers entered last season with high expectations, given their playoff appearance in 2016 and a busy summer of acquisitions and signings that followed.
But they were unable to live up to those expectations, as injuries plagued them throughout the season, and they ultimately fell short of the postseason, finishing 14 points back of Toronto for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
There has been significant change both on and off the ice for the Panthers since April.
They lost Jonathan Marchessault, who had a breakout 2016-17 campaign but was surprisingly left unprotected in the expansion draft, to Vegas. They sent Reilly Smith to the Golden Knights in a trade. The days of Jaromir Jagr in a Panthers uniform appear to be over. Thomas Vanek went to the open market and is still unsigned.
The biggest changes, though, came in the coaching and management departments.
Dale Tallon is back in the general manager’s role, while the club introduced Bob Boughner as its new head coach. Boughner spent the last two years as an assistant with San Jose, and has head coaching experience from his time with Windsor in the the Ontario Hockey League.
Today at PHT we’ll look into the key storylines surrounding the Panthers with training camp approaching.