The Florida Panthers kick off their season tonight in Dallas. Here are five things to watch for in their season opener:
1) New Faces
The Florida Panthers had a deceptive off-season. During the opening weeks of free-agency the team was very quiet. They made a couple of moves but it looked like their 2013-14 roster would consist largely of familiar faces. Because of that, it is shocking when you look at the 23-man roster and count ten new faces. F Joey Crabb, F Aleksander Barkov, F Jesse Winchester, F Krys Barch, F Scott Gomez, F Brad Boyes, D Ryan Whitney, D Tom Gilbert, D Matt Gilroy, and G Tim Thomas all spent their 2012-13 seasons playing elsewhere. Half of these players were not even with the Panthers until the start of training camp, Ryan Whitney and Krys Barch arrived THIS WEEK!
It will be interesting to see how this team gels. Suddenly the Panthers are a completely different team than they were one month ago. Its like walking in the door after a long business trip to find that your wife got a surprise face-lift.