Don't Sleep On Florida Panthers

By Andy Schmidt
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

There are some teams in the National Hockey League that can be looked at and people may consider the idea of wanting them out of the league. One of those teams is the Florida Panthers who are making strides towards being a fairly decent team to watch. Florida made the playoffs for the first time in 12 years last year and while the team has had a rough start to the 2013 season, I wouldn’t look past them.

This is a team that is built on a lot of former Chicago Blackhawks players with Dale Tallon being in charge. Tallon was in Chicago for a long time being the general manager along with being one of the team’s announcers for many years. Tallon has players like Kris Versteeg, Brian Campbell and Jack Skille who played in Chicago that are going to make the team an every year competitor. I just worry that Florida really doesn’t have the other parts around them to be a true Stanley Cup contender.

Tallon has a lot of work ahead of him and maybe he can go get even more players from the Blackhawks to make his team even better. It is early in the season, though, and maybe Florida can turn around their early fortunes, but with how short this 2013 season is, no team can get off to a bad start. The Panthers have done just that and now will be forced to fight their way back into the Eastern Conference race. It could be a very long and uphill battle, though, for Florida to have any chance against some of the better teams of the conference.

Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports, like his Facebook page or add him to your network on Google.

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