Rare is the NHL team that completely remakes its roster and not sink to the bottom of the standings. Or does so because they are at the bottom. Then there is the Florida Panthers.
When you compare how the Panthers lined up in the Toronto postseason summer bubble in 2020 to how things look right now, well, the two teams are unrecognizable.
Sure, Sasha Barkov is here.
So is Aaron Ekblad.
And Sergei Bobrovsky.
Would you believe no one — save for Eetu Luostarinen, who did not play in the 2020 bubble?
After Friday night’s blockbuster deal which saw franchise stalwarts Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar go to Calgary for Matthew Tkachuk, general manager Bill Zito appears to have completed his scorched earth campaign on the Florida Panthers roster.
Tkachuk, by the way, will be formally introduced by the Panthers at a noon press conference Monday in Sunrise.
Not only have the Panthers avoided plunging to the depths of the Atlantic (division), but they have enjoyed two of the best regular seasons in franchise history.
Playoff success has been limited to one series win against the Capitals. Which is why Zito keeps on rolling.
Yes, the Panthers are looking to accomplish more. Much more.