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Time to Celebrate? Panthers Picked to Finish Last ... NOW! With On Frozen Poll

ConfettiThe Hockey News kicked off their 2010-11 season predictions today, and the first two teams previewed are the Edmonton Oilers and the Florida Panthers.

And it's not a compliment.

The Hockey News has both teams picked to finish last in their respective conferences.

THN (LINK HERE) says this about the Panthers:

"With GM Dale Tallon at the helm it's a new era in Florida.

"The Panthers have seen Nathan Horton and Keith Ballard moved for younger pieces and the team also had three picks in the first round of the draft.

"Of course, while this means the team is headed in the right direction, it also means it'll be a long, losing season with probably many more moves in store.''

You don't have to listen to the naysayers, especially since TSN was way off on the Cats last year, picking Florida to finish 12th in the east.

Ha!

We all know Florida ended up 14th.

So there.

-- Truthfully, where do you pick the Panthers to finish this year? I am leaning toward somewhere around where TSN sees it. Feel free to leave your predictions below (and I do realize that it's only August 9).

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I guess this means more confetti after we finish in the bottom of the division. Thank God Yormark signed Party City on as this year's sponsor now we'll never run out of confetti.

tank this season for (who is the first or second pick??)

Not a problem. We will finish last and it won't be close. I want my money back. This is my last year as a season seat owner.

I want the #1 overall pick this year since we blew a franchise player by finishing 3rd this year. Let's do it right this time, Panthers.

I have absolutely no idea what this team will do this year. If Booth stays healthy and gets back to 30 goals, if Grabner has the breakout season some people in Vancouver think he could have, if Frolik takes a step forward and adds to his 20 goal year, if Wideman adds more powerplay goals it is entirely possible the team has a Cinderella year. However if Booth gets injured and Grabner is a bust and Frolik can barely get to 20 goals and Wideman is a turnover machine, then yes 15TH would be right. It is easy to say they come in last because they came close to last last year but last year they lost Booth for most of the year, Stillman and Horton were out for a long duration. If the team stays healthy they have as good a chance as any team.

I think that Edmonton for 15Th in the West is wrong. I pick Calgary to be last in the West and Oilers to fight for a playoff spot. Renny is a good coach and Hall will add some much needed scoring. Edmonton like Panthers had a lot of injuries last year. If they stay healthy they will be good.

Sean couturier, welcome to Florida!

No way do we make the Playoffs but also no way we finish last in the conference. Team has lost some talent from last season but added a lot of Character so I see a slight improvement from last season. I say they finish somewhere 11-13th in the East. Sorry tankers. -(

I always try to look at the Panthers optimistically, but 15th sounds about right this year. Losing Horton and Ballard hurts (plus underrated Seidenberg and Leopold at the deadline), and they'll probably deal Vokoun and others by next year's deadline.
They didn't upgrade any positions from a team that finished 14th in the East last year. Who in the East looks worse? Toronto and NYI maybe, but probably not.

they won't finish in the bottom 3 simply because they won't get the first pick again.

While it is too early to tell, too many things have to go right for this team to battle for a playoff spot.

Plus it takes awhile to build a team from scratch since the last 10 years have produced next to nothing in developing players by this organization.

And yes Yormark has the confetti ready for the battle for the 1st pick. Don't forget we come to play while the other team comes to win.

rexx8 - you shouldn't need your money back. It doesn't take a trip to Madame Cleo to realize that the Panthers are once again going nowhere...

Don't forget we've basically turned over our roster yet again, so developing chemistry is another issue for this team which will likely produce a slow start, then a run around the all-star break, then a fizzle finish which will be just good enough to give us a lottery pick but not the top pick.

Just an FYI, Alexander Salak, the goalie with a lot of promise, has bolted the Panthers organization and gone back to Europe to play.

Kind of eases the goalie glut down here (Markstrom possibly, Plante and Chevrie), Alex needed some time but IMO he would have been a decent NHLer.

We need some real bruisers/goons to make this season worthwhile. I have said it before, if we are not scoring, we need some good fights to keep the fans coming and standing on their seats.

Make the BAC a place to fear. Yeah the visiting team will leave with a point or two--but they will also need leave with a few stitches and a black eye. I am tired of the teams coming here for 2 EASY points, a tan, and a fishing trip (my sister works at the Ritz on the beach and sees the attitude that NY and Philly has when they roll in for R & R ).

This team has done absolutely nothing to make the upcoming season the least bit interesting. There is no way they can finish any place other than last without having a single true goal scorer. I can't wait for all the lame excuses to begin again. Remember last year how the line was that the trip to Finland caused a loss in momentum and set the stage for a terrible season. I seem to recall that the other team disadvantaged by the same arduous trek was the Blackhawks. Gee, I wonder how their season ended up. It used to be that just the players wanted to come to Florida to get out of the cold and take advantage of year round golf. Now we have a GM with the same mentality. With very few exceptions, this is an AHL franchise disguised (and poorly so in those awful, unimaginative 3rd jerseys)as an NHL team. At this point, anyone, especially in this economy, who gives them another dime for the same old shoddy product needs professional help.

Florida Panthers prospect goalie Alexander Salak has signed a one-year deal to play with Farjestad of the SEL next season. Salak is highly touted but the arrival of Jacob Markstrom was going to make it difficult for both goalies to get the playing time they deserve. This is a small blow to fantasy owners who thought Salak might get a shot at a backup role this year in Florida but the fact he will get a full-time starting gig somewhere, even if it is in Sweden, is better than backing up Markstrom in the AHL. It's important to note that this move shouldn't be taken as indication that the Panthers aren't excited about Salak as a prospect.

Finishing anywhere other than in the bottom 5 of the conference, but out of the top two picks, would be anything but Pantheresque. To expect more is the fault of the fan, not the organization.

But on that note, this is the first time since the '03-'04 season I have been excited about this franchise. What I look forward to the most is seeing who can build a better winning franchise and keep their job the longest down south. Dudley or Tallon. My money is on Dudley, because Waddell kept his job for years inspite of his ineffectiveness.

The #1 overall pick will either be Larsson(D) or Couturier(F), and I fully expect The Cats to have a shot at one of them after this upcoming season is over.....Nuff said.

Salak going to Sweden mean NOTHING to the Cats nor to his future in the NHL. The Panthers wanted Markstom to make the move to N America and Salak asked to be allowed to go to Sweden where he can play full time, while the Panthers still own his rights in N America. It's a win/win situation for both parties.

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