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Looking Ahead at the Florida Panthers: Defensemen

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Panthers defensemen
The top returning defensemen for the Florida Panthers this season include, from top left, Gus Forsling, Brandon Montour and Aaron Ekblad. // Photos by Roger Lee Photographer (561) 866-2000

The Florida Panthers will look much different this coming season in a key area as they had to retool their blueline following injuries and departures of some key defensemen.

While Radko Gudas signing a new contract with Anaheim will have the greatest impact on the Panthers’ backend, the loss of Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour at least in the early stages of the season will affect Florida as well.

Losing two of your top three defensemen to injury is not something which will be easy to overcome.

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Speaking on NHL Network Radio on Tuesday, Florida general manager Bill Zito said both Ekblad and Montour were coming along from their various injuries as expected.

Although he still would not offer up a timeline for their expected return, both could be back around December — meaning the Panthers are planning to play at least the first quarter of the season without two of their leaders.

So, how will the Panthers get by without so many important pieces moving forward?

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