Panthers season preview: Tkachuk adds grit to talented team

The 2022-23 NHL season begins October 7. With training camps opening soon, takes a look at the three keys, the inside scoop on roster questions, and the predicted lineup for each of the 32 teams. Today, the Florida Panthers.

Fitness Trainer: Paul Morris (season 1)

Last season: 58-18-6, 1st place in the Atlantic Division; Lost to Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round of the Eastern Conference

3 keys

1. Tkachuk pebbles

The leopards are moving forward Matthew Tkachuk In trade with Calgary Flames forward Jonathan Huberdeau and defenseman Mackenzie and jealous On July 22. Tkachuk scored 104 points and Huberdeau had 115 last season, but general manager Bill Zito said on July 25 that Tkachuk’s strong style of play is what the Panthers need. “It’s no secret that some of the traits Matthew brings are areas of the game that we can use collectively in our group.”

2. The Morris Effect

Success in the playoff has been an issue for the Panthers, and they hope it will change with Morris, who was named coach on June 22, replacing Andrew Brunet, who led the Panthers to a record 51-18-6 after replacing Joel Quinville seven games. . in season. Morris is 775-680-130 with 99 draws in 25 NHL seasons. He led the Winnipeg Jets to the Stanley Cup playoffs for four consecutive seasons from 2017-21, including reaching the 2018 Western Conference Final. He resigned on December 17, saying the planes needed a new sound. Cheetahs have a lot of talent in place. Maybe Morris’ experience puts them on top in the post-season.

3. Bobrovsky’s return to form

Sergey Bobrovsky He went 39-7-3 with 2.67 goal-to-average, .913 savings and three eliminations in 54 games (53 starts), his best season with the Panthers since signing a seven-year contract on July 1, 2019. This is the Bobrovsky Panthers need to go further.

Roster Rondon

making the cut

There could be openings on the second, third and fourth front lines after Huberdeau and free agents leave Claude Giroud (Ottawa Senators), Noel Acari (St. Louis Blues), Mason’s career (Dallas Stars) and Maxim Mamin (Continental Hockey League). straight ahead Anthony Dockler He will also remain until mid-season after undergoing surgery to repair an Achilles tendon injury in July. Nick CousinsAnd the Colin White And the Rudolph Balzer, who each signed as a free agent, are in the mix. In defense, there are slots left by Weegar and the free agent Ben Shearot (Detroit Red Wings). Lucas Carlson And the Mark Steelewho signed with Florida on July 13, chances are.

The most interesting addition

Tkachuk said he wants to come to Florida for a chance to win not just now but in the future, and will be counted on to bring in the big numbers he had with the Flames. He is supposed to be familiar with many attackers, including Ryan Lomberg And the Sam BennettEvery previous flame. The question is can the left wing find the same chemistry with the center Alexander Barkov And the right wing Sam Reinhart (Assuming he’s in the top row) He was with him Elias Lindholm And the Johnny Goudro Last season in Calgary.

The biggest possible surprise

Could Carlson be more in the squad? The 25-year-old scored nine points (three goals and six assists) in 40 games for Florida last season. He has played in 58 National Hockey League games with the Panthers and Chicago Blackhawks.

ready to hack

This is tough with the Panthers, given the experience on the menu, but forward Anton Levchy You can take a good look at the training camp. The 26-year-old, who signed with Florida on June 14, led Liega, the Finnish premier league, with 61 points (26 goals, 35 assists) in 55 games for Tabara. The Panthers lost some goals with their off-season moves, and if Levchey had a good camp, he might make a splash.

sleeping fantasy

Carter VerhaghiLW (imaginary average draft position: 175.0) – He led the Panthers with 12 points (six goals, six assists), all with equal strength, in 10 Stanley Cup games last season. Verhaeghe was tied for third place in the NHL in doubles strengths during the first two rounds of the playoffs behind him Conor McDavid And the Leon Drystel from Edmonton Oilers and remains a fictional sleeper with potential exposure to at least one elite forward in Barkov and/or Tkachuk. – Anna Dua

Expected line

Matthew Tkachuk – Alexander Barkov – Sam Reinhart

Carter Verhaghi – Sam Bennett – Patrick Hornqvist

Ryan Lomberg – Anton Lundell – Colin White

Nick Cousins ​​- Ito lostarinen – Rudolph Balzer

Gustav ForslingAaron O’Cliff

Mark Stahl – Radko Good

Lucas Carlson – Brandon Montour

Sergey Bobrovsky

Spencer Knight