NHL Lockout Can Derail Recent Success of Florida Panthers

September 18th, 2012 by Alan Greenberg Leave a reply »
The lockout has to be a bittersweet pill for Dale Tallon and the Florida Panthers. On one hand, they were planning to celebrate and build upon last season's success by raising the Southeast Division banner on opening night.

The team is to be commended for their 22-point, regular-season improvement and for taking the New Jersey Devils Cup finalists to a match with seven double overtimes in the first round.

But on the other hand, their success was in a weak division, and the reality is that they didn't qualify for the playoffs until the penultimate game. They clinched first place in the Division on the final day.

Had the current season started on time, there would have been numerous question marks. The Cats had two key power-play members in Mikael Samuelsson and breakout D-man Jason Garrison, which they lost to free agency. Samuelsson couldn't wait for Tallon to determine if he had cap space, so he opted a return to Detroit where he earned a Stanley Cup ring in 2008.

Garrison had the perfect opportunity to test free agency, and he received an offer he couldn't refuse from his hometown Canucks. For his sake, let's hope h ...

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