The Florida Panthers finished at the bottom of the league standings in 2013. Yes, a lot of that could be blamed on injuries, as their roster was absolutely decimated by health woes. But with some glaring needs, both up front and on the blue line, you’d imagine that the Panthers would be as active in the free agent market as they had been in the last couple of summers.
That’s apparently not the case, as the Panthers have yet to do much of anything on the free agent market, or on the trade market. They watched veteran center Stephen Weiss head up to the Detroit Red Wings, traded George Parros, while inking only Shawn Matthias and a couple of players that will likely never see time up with the Panthers, in Joey Crabb and Mike Mottau.
This comes after watching the Panthers make a questionable move in passing on both Seth Jones and Jonathan Drouin in order to select Aleksander Barkov with the no. 2 overall pick in the draft last weekend. While the summer is still young, it’s not a promising start for the Panthers.
Essentially, we’ve seen the Panthers do absolutely nothing to a team that ranked dead last in the league in offensive output per game, team defense, and in their penalty kill. This team needed to upgrade big time on the blue line, as well as some veteran leadership and grit up on the forward ranks. They didn’t really achieve any of that in the first day of free agency.
Dale Tallon has preached patience with this team. But this team reached the postseason in 2011-12, before completely falling on their faces in 2013. There are expectations with this team. They have a young core coming together. They need to be actively improving, rather than standing pat.
It’s only one day, obviously. But if the Panthers don’t plan to add much of anything to what they currently have in place, even a healthy team isn’t going to make much noise in the Eastern Conference next season.