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Florida Panthers top FHN Preseason Atlantic Division Power Rankings

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The Florida Panthers may have undergone a lot of changes this offseason — but they still look like the strongest team in the Atlantic Division heading into the 2022-23 NHL season. — Roger Lee Photographer (561) 866-2000

As the calendar turned into September, the start of another NHL season is upon us. The Florida Panthers, along with the rest of the league, will be reporting to training camp in the coming weeks.

After setting franchise records for regular season success in each of the past two years, there are a lot of expectations for the Panthers to keep the party going.

Last year, Florida won the Presidents’ Trophy with an NHL-leading 122 points — taking its fourth divisional title by beating out the second-place Toronto by seven points.

But how will things look this year?

The Panthers probably will not match last year’s point total — in fact, new coach Paul Maurice alluded to that reality in an interview with FHN a day after being introduced.

But regular season success does not matter much if you don’t do anything in the playoffs. The Colorado Avalanche learned that firsthand in 2021, the Panthers last May when they were swept out of the second round by the Lightning.

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As we head into the season, there has been a lot of changes around the league and the Panthers had some of the biggest changes of all.

It looks like the Atlantic Division will be one of the toughest in all of the NHL with most of the eight teams either considered contenders — or improved enough to make a run at the postseason.

There do not appear to be any easy nights within the division this season. The exception may be with Montreal.

Things may get worse there before they start getting better.

This will be our first Atlantic power rankings of the 2022-23 season as we look at the additions and subtractions of each team.

The Panthers come into the season as the defending champ and we still look at Florida as the best team in the Atlantic.

We’ll see soon enough.

FHN ATLANTIC DIVISION

POWER RANKINGS

1. Florida Panthers

In: Matthew Tkachuk, Colin White, Rudolfs Balcers, Nick Cousins, Chris Tierney, Marc Staal

Out: Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, Mason Marchment, Claude Giroux, Ben Chiarot, Noel Acciari, Markus Nutivaara

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