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Florida Panthers GM Bill Zito talks team, trades and Huberdeau | FHN+

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Florida Panthers general manager Bill Zito speaks on the start of free agency outside BB&T Center in Sunrise on July 28. // Photo @GeorgeRichards

Florida Panthers general manager Bill Zito is going to be busy the next few weeks as he and his management and scouting team really begin digging deep into potential players who may be available at the upcoming NHL Trade Deadline.

Zito and his small army will not just be looking at tape or scouring through the numbers.

They will be looking for players they think will fit in with what is already a pretty good Panthers team.

Zito has spent his time in Florida carefully crafting a team that not only has plenty of talent, but works well together on and off the ice.

Throughout this season, the Panthers have been quick to tell anyone who would listen how close this team is. It is obvious to anyone who has watched this team for even a little bit how much fun they are having just about every night.

And Zito knows the wrong addition — or subtraction — could affect things in a most negative way.

“The thing that really resonates is I believe we have a true team,’’ Zito told Florida Hockey Now on Friday afternoon.

“And I also believe that the way to win is to have a team in which the best collective effort is what is going to win. The important step toward our ultimate prize is to have a team in that room and I think we have accomplished that.

“They play for each other, they enjoy each other’s company. And it’s a real family atmosphere in that room with the training staff, the equipment staff, the coaching staff. It’s great. I think that’s fantastic.

“We’re doing a lot of work making sure that should someone come into the room, they will be a fit with our team.’’

Zito spoke about a variety of things with FHN including how he thinks his team has meshed, the play — and future contract negotiations — of Jonathan Huberdeau, and his thoughts on going into the trade deadline next month.

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