Friday, October 7, 2011

Last Cats Standing?

October 7, 2011
Written by Julia Chongarlides

The Florida Marlins finished out of the playoffs, it’s hard to believe the Miami Dolphins will reach the playoffs and the Miami Heat may be locked out of the playoffs.

It seems that the only team left to cheer for in South Florida is the Florida Panthers. But that will be a tough task for fans as the Cats haven’t made the playoffs in about a decade.

Even with star players like Steven Weiss and David Booth, the Panthers were 30-40 last season. Head Coach Peter DeBoer was fired in April after three seasons with the Panthers. DeBoer was given last season to redeem himself but finished last in the East and 3rd worst overall. The signs were clear: It was time for him to hit the bench.

Enter former NHL Man-of-the-Year winner Kevin Dineen, who becomes Florida's new head coach. If his credentials talk for themselves, then we will see a revamped and reenergized Panthers team this season.

The Panthers enter 2011 donning a new slogan: We See Red. It symbolizes the desire to turn things around in South Florida and thrive for contention once again. The slogan has been backed up by a bevy of offseason moves, such as the signing of defenseman Ed Jovanovski (4-year, $16.5 million deal). Jovo, as he is known, is a former 1st round draft pick by Florida and a key player in the Panther’s 1996 Stanley Cup playoff run. The Cats hope he can ignite the same flame that burned during the glory years of Panthers hockey.

The Panthers start the 2011-12 season on Saturday, October 8th in New York to face off with the Islanders.

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