Friday, October 7, 2016

Florida Panthers 2016-17 season preview

 The Florida Panthers team from their last game of 2015-16 to today is totally different. They lost forwards Jiri Hudler (DAL), Teddy Purcell (LAK), Quinton Howden (WPG) and Dave Bolland (ARI). They added Jared McCann, Jonathan Marchessault and Colton Sceviour to fill in those spots. Defensemen Dmitry Kulikov (BUF), Brian Campbell (CHI) and Erik Gudbranson (VAN) are all gone and Keith Yandle and Jason Demers are in. A questionable move was signing G James Reimer to a 5 year deal. Reimer will backup up Roberto Luongo who at age 37 will slowly decline. Reimer was signed to replace Al Montoya, who went to Montreal but Reimer is definitely an upgrade for Florida. Florida's superstar Aaron Ekblad, is young (20) and is an amazing defenseman especially for his age. Also, the ageless wonder Jaromir Jagr is returning again this year and we still wonder how long he can play for. In the first round of the 2016 NHL draft, the Panthers selected C Henrik Borgstrom with the 23rd overall pick. It's odd that they picked a center when they have Aleksander Barkov, Nick Bjugstad and Vincent Trocheck all age 24 and below. A notable thing that Florida did this off-season was change logos. The question is will the new logo mean success? The Panthers' projected lines look like this:
 Jonathan Huberdeau- Aleksander Barkov- Jaromir Jagr
 Jussi Jokinen- Vincent Trocheck- Reilly Smith
 Jonathan Marchessault- Jared McCann- Logan Shaw
 Shawn Thornton- Derek MacKenzie- Colton Sceviour
 On defense is:
 Keith Yandle- Aaron Ekblad
 Jason Demers- Alex Peteovic
 Mark Pysyk- Michael Matheson
 Roberto Luongo and James Reimer are in net. Steven Kampfer and Jakub Kindl are scratched. Nick Bjugstad is injured.
 For my prediction, a new logo means success for Florida and they will make the playoffs in 2016-17.

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