5 Biggest Issues Still Facing the Florida Panthers This Offseason

By Josh VanDyke

5 Biggest Issues Still Facing the Florida Panthers This Offseason

Florida Panthers team celebration after a win
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Panthers flirted with playoff contention in 2014-15. With a promising young core continuing to grow and some veteran leadership at key positions, the team hopes to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011-12. There are still five issues the team needs to address in order to do so.

5. Long-Term Goaltending

Roberto Luongo smiles during a break in the action
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

5. Long-Term Goaltending

Roberto Luongo smiles during a break in the action
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Roberto Luongo has shored up the team's deficiency at goalie in the last two seasons, but what is the team's long-term plan at goaltender? Luongo just turned 36 and backup Al Montoya is 30.

4. Gulf Between Old Veterans and Young Stars

Florida Panthers forward Jagr
Getty Images

4. Gulf Between Old Veterans and Young Stars

Florida Panthers forward Jagr
Getty Images

The Panthers have a bright future with young players like Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov and Aaron Ekblad. But other than Huberdeau, the young core of Panthers aren't in their primes yet. The majority of the rest of the roster, like Jaromir Jagr, are in the twilight of their careers.

3. Bottom-Six Production

Dave Bolland looks on from the bench during a shift change
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

3. Bottom-Six Production

Dave Bolland looks on from the bench during a shift change
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers had to rely on their top two lines for the majority of their production last season. The team will need more production from veterans like Dave Bolland and Shawn Thornton, and young players like Vincent Trocheck in order to be a legit playoff contender.

2. Power Play Production

Jonathan Huberdeau celebrates after scoring a goal
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

2. Power Play Production

Jonathan Huberdeau celebrates after scoring a goal
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers finished 24th in the league in power play percentage last season. They will need improved play from players like Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov on special teams if they are going to climb that ranking.

1. Top-Line Goal Scorer

Phil Kessel carres the puck down the ice
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

1. Top-Line Goal Scorer

Phil Kessel carres the puck down the ice
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers were rumored to be in hot pursuit of former Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel at the trade deadline and during the NHL Draft. The Pittsburgh Penguins were able to acquire the talented goal-scorer during the offseason, and Florida could still use a top-six forward to add to the mix. Don't be surprised if the Panthers make a big move during the 2015-16 season.

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