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Merry New Year! The final Florida Panthers mailbag of 2020

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Florida Panthers 2020
The ice at BB&T Center looks ready to go as the Florida Panthers exit 2020. // @FlaPanthers

It has been a long, strange year but thankfully, 2020 is about to come to a close. For the Florida Panthers, 2020 was at least filled with a lot of news.

Success, not so much. But plenty of news.

As usual.

The Panthers plan on opening training camp on Monday morning and there is some reason for optimism in 2021.

Are the new-look Panthers a playoff team? I don’t know just yet. No one does. I think they’ll compete for a playoff spot in the new NHL Central. That’s all we can hope for right now.

As we ride out 2020 and run into the New Year, I would once again like to thank you all who have supported me and my coverage of the Panthers not only over the years — but especially this one.

This is my first year covering the team with my own site (some of you may remember I used to cover the Panthers for the Miami Herald and then The Athletic) and your support has meant the world to me.

It’s going to be a fun year I think. Different. But it should be fun.

I will be there covering this team with everything I’ve got. Thanks for joining me.

Let’s ride.

Now, for the final time in 2020, it is time for the monthly Florida Panthers Mailbag!

See you next year!

Is Zito done with player signings for the moment, or should we be expecting another surprise or two within the remaining cap space? Or trades perhaps? You hearing any names? — Mark Weber via FHN Facebook page

It does appear that new GM Bill Zito is done at least for the moment. We do not know if any injury concerns will pop up during the quickie training camp and that could lead to some trades and/or hitting up what is left of the free agent market. I have not heard any names linked to the Panthers other than the PTOs offered up to goalie Scott Darling and defenseman Kevin Connauton. There could be some other minor stuff coming with an eye toward the AHL season in the coming weeks. We’ll see.

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