The 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs are just around the corner and keeping track of all the competing teams can be tricky. So, if you want to learn more about the Florida Panthers, then this is the place for you.
Here we are going to go through all the information you need to know about the Florida Panthers. This way, you can keep them in mind before checking out the FanDuel NHL odds to make your bet this hockey season.
About The Florida Panthers
The Florida Panthers are a professional hockey team that competes in the National Hockey League (NHL) in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. They are based in the metropolitan area of Miami in Sunrise, Florida.
The team first began playing back in the 1990s in the 1993-94 NHL season and since then, they have qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs only 7 seven times, made it to the finance once in 1996, and have never won the championship.
Their current head coach is Paul Maurice, a former Canadian ice hockey player who currently holds the record for the most losses by an NHL coach. During his career, Maurice has seen a total of 681 losses – and counting.
The Florida Panthers’ colors are red and white with dark blue and flat gold. Their logo is of a gold panther head on a shield. The name ‘Florida Panthers’ was chosen to help bring attention to the native wildcat of Florida which was classed as endangered at the time. Cordding to past president Bill Torrney, the name was also chosen because the panther is ‘the quickest striking of all cats’.
The Florida Panthers were established in 1993 as an expansion team and played their first season in 1993-94.
They quickly became one of the most successful expansion teams in the league’s history as they just narrowly missed out on the final playoff spot in the East. However, the team wasn’t so widely accepted by other NHL teams as their trap defense was widely criticized, and the fact that the team was mainly made up of Canadians who moved to warmer Florida during the winter. Despite this, Miami and Florida soon embraced the team.
Over the years, the Florida Panthers would have fluctuating success.
Although they have never won the Stanley Cup, they did make it to the finals once in 1996 but lost to the Colorado Avalanche. The Panthers lost in a four-game sweep but they still managed to set a record during the season and their surprise success landed Bryan Murray an NHL Executive of the Year award.
However, this level of success would soon fade. The 2000s was a difficult time for the Panthers as they continued to miss playoffs. They even became the first NHL team to miss the playoffs nine consecutive times in just a single city.
In 2010, Dale Tallon was named the new general manager of the Florida Panthers. After a series of trades and injuries, the team finally managed to win its first division title in 2012. However, they would then be eliminated in the very first round of the Eastern Conference. During this era, the team lost a lot of support from fans and no amount of rebranding was bringing the fans back.
In 2020, Tallon was replaced by Bill Zito and began to taste a bit of success after such a disappointing two decades. They finished second in the Atlantic Division in the 2020-21 NHL season and became the Atlantic Division champions in 2022. Over the last few years, they’ve seen an increase in their number of consecutive victories so it’s currently an exciting time to be a Florida Panther supporter.
The current captain of the Florida Panthers is Aleksander Barkov, a 27-year-old center player from Finland. He’s played internationally for Finland at events like the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2016 IIHF World Championship where the team won silver after Canada.
Barkov has been playing for the Florida Panthers for 10 years now (and has been the captain since 2018) and each year, scores between 20 to 30 goals on average. He has had two NHL hat-tricks over his career, become the first Florida Panther to record five assists in a single game, and has been nominated for the Selke Trophy twice.
Aaron Eklbald is a professional defenceman from Canada and is the alternate Captain for the Florida Panthers.
His NHL career began back in 2014 and since then, has become one of the most important players on the team. Although the occasional head concussion has caused him to miss games, he’s also broken a few NHL history records – including becoming the 15th defenseman to reach double digits in goals during their first four seasons.
He has also played internationally representing Canada and North America.
The Florida Panthers are an inconsistent team that has had a lot of struggles in its history. They have yet to get their hands on the Stanley Cup. However, their recent games have been more promising – so could we be seeing a revival of this often disregarded hockey team?