“Seared” is rather what I mean. After all of the deals made this offseason, could the Panthers still lose? I have been a Panthers’ fan long enough to not be satisfied until I actually see a winner on the ice. I’m not trying to be negative, just realistic. Dale Tallon has done an extraordinary job, hiring Kevin Dineen as head coach and bringing in Craig Ramsay to be an assistant. Tallon added plenty of depth through the draft and free agency, but he has taken risks. You have to take risks to win, but what if they don’t pay off?
Kevin Dineen has never coached in the NHL before. Not a big deal, especially given his AHL coaching record; not to mention his own bruising style of play in the NHL. Bringing in Craig Ramsay helps here, in that Ramsay can provide any experience Dineen would lack. It is still a big question mark. How will the team respond to him? I’m sure I am just nervous because I really don’t want to tolerate another season out of the playoffs.
The free agency frenzy that took place July 1st was great fun for fans. The Panthers filled holes in the defense and offense, but left a few questions that still need to be answered. Was Sean Bergenheim’s playoff performance a fluke? Are Tomas Fleischmann and Ed Jovanovski going to remain healthy? Is Jose Theodore going to play like it’s 09-10? I’ll wait until October for answers, but what if fans have to wait a few seasons for results?
Tallon’s work in two entry drafts for the Panthers has been phenomenal. Having the third overall pick twice has helped generate positive buzz about the future of this team. Tallon built the Chicago Blackhawks into Stanley Cup Champions and that is the ultimate goal for the Panthers. However, don’t expect an immediate turn around. It took the Blackhawks a couple of years to turn themselves around. Could Jonathan Huberdeau be a Jonathan Toews? We’re just going to have to wait. I think it may disappoint fans if the Panthers narrowly miss the playoffs this year, but it would still be an improvement from finishing in the basement.
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Tags: Chicago Blackhawks Craig Ramsay Dale Tallon Ed Jovanovski Florida Panthers Free Agency Jonathan Huberdeau Jonathan Toews Jose Theodore Kevin Dineen Playoffs Risk Sean Bergenheim Stanley Cup Tomas Fleischmann We See Red