What a wacky month its been at FLApanthers HQ. Wacky year in general. Fire like 30 people, bring in a new staff, flip the team over to make them totally analytics based, fire the fan favorite coach, become old school hockey enemy number 1, and then have your owner become Secretary of the Army. It’s not crazy by any means given the military background Viola imposes on everything including this team, but just making this season more of a circus act than it already was is just crazy. Stability is something we’ve wanted for a long time and it felt like we had it by the end of last year and now it’s all up in the air again. Like we thought it was bad when Jeffrey Loria steps in mid season to fuck around with the Marlins. Well Vinnie Viola stepped in to mess around with the player personnel, and now President-elect Donald trump stuck his fingers into BB&T center and is messing around with Vinnie Viola. Some how this is gonna trickle down and effect with the players somehow. Wish we could hear Vinnie say he’s rejecting the offer because he’s 100% committed to this South Florida Hockey Franchise, but we just know he’s gonna jump to represent the Army any way possible. It’s like in the guy’s DNA. And who knows how things will change. Shouldn’t be to crazy I don’t think considering everyone in that organization front office is hand picked by Viola so the direction should still be the same but don’t be caught off guard if half the roster is sent to fight in the Syrian Civil War and combat ISIS.
God i hope this is true. Its absolutely frustrating watching the Panthers play at the pace they play sometimes. Don’t get me wrong they skate their balls off every night. But after the playoffs you see teams like Tampa, Chicago, Anaheim just bring so much speed and brutality and skill. Just things that make it a real physical challenge for the other team. One thing I hate the most is that the fans and maybe play style is too soft. We obviously get no respect as it is being an ice hockey team located next to the god damn everglades but its also in the fans too i think. They’re just to complacent. When I see the crowd its all like older women and maybe its just who i follow on social media but its all women who are like “oh they’re good/ I like so and so player/ omg i can’t believe they didn’t call that!/ we lost but good job!” I want it to be hard nosed. I want Panther fans to be like “fuck you, we’re gonna win.” I need everything to be hard nose and apply pressure every damn game. No more being soft.
In other news Huberdeau has resigned for 2 years. Gonna be fun to see them resign him and Ekblad in 2017 but Im almost sure they’ll find a way to keep these young guys especially these two Calder winners. Hopefully Huberdeau has a great year which I’m expecting playing on the same line as Jagr and Barkov.
So far it seems the only spots left open for people to compete for are RW on the 3rd with Jokinen and Bolland and wings for the fourth centered by MacKenzie. Trocheck I’m kind of expecting to make the roster just because he’s proven to through 50 games with the cats notching 22 points last season. The others that are in the fight are Rocco Grimaldi, who’s a close 2nd for me because i see him as a tiny mousey scrappy player and i just like that kind of guy. Quinton Howden I haven’t heard much or seen much form him at al along with Connor Brickley because they haven’t had any NHL time. As For Lawson Crouse I don’t think he’ll make the roster just yet this year maybe we’ll have him called up a few games but I’m not expecting him to really make the team just yet. As for David Booth, he definitely dropped in production over the years from his glory days as a Panther so im leaning towards not expecting him to make the cut but he is a hard worker so maybe put him with a young team can revitalize and maybe put that work ethic to good use.
Expectation this year- Playoff bubble.