Eastern Conference Predictions: 15 Flordia Panthers

BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 31: Tomas Vokoun #29 of the Florida Panthers makes a save during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena on March 31, 2010 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

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With the summer nearing an end its time to look at the rosters and predict where everyone will finish in 2010-2011.  Each day I will break down a Eastern conference team from 15 to 1, the way I think they will finish.

Number 15 goes to a division rival, the Florida Panthers.  In my opinion the Flordia Panthers have gotten the right General Manager for the rebuild in Dale Tallon, who put the Blackhawks together, to bring them towards the promise land in the future.  However, for now it is rebuild mode for the Panthers.  The off-season saw the Panthers wave fair well to 2003 3rd overall pick Nathan Horton and promising defenseman Keith Ballard.

Goaltending should be solid for the Panthers this season as they return Tomas Vokun and Scott Clemenson.  The problem is the lack of defense.  Brian Allen comes in as arguably the best defensive defenseman for the Panthers with two nice offensive weapons in Brian McCabe and Dennis Wideman.  If the Panthers are to get out of the cellar this year, their young defense will have to step up and they will have to have balanced scoring.

Key Additions:

Dennis Wideman

Steve Bernier

Key Departures:

Nathan Horton

Keith Ballard

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