Has a new NHL formula been found? The Success of the Florida Panthers

Every front office in the NHL builds their team differently. The Florida Panthers have established a one-of-a-kind foundation in Sunrise, which other NHL teams may try to replicate.
2024 Stanley Cup Final - Media Day
2024 Stanley Cup Final - Media Day / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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The Florida Panthers are a team abundant in talent and star power.

From Aleksander Barkov, Matthew Tkachuk, and Sam Reinhart, the build-up of a dynasty is entirely possible.

Bill Zito, the Florida Panthers general manager, is the man in charge. Zito has made some surprise trades and hit the free-agent market, creating a team built on power and talent.

The Florida Panthers are likely sticking around

Granted, the Panthers will probably lose a few players at the start of free agency, but Zito has proven he is a mastermind in his management skills.

The possibility of Sam Reinhart and Brandon Montour leaving Florida looms. Still, given the team's success and existing roster, hometown discounts could keep such players staying put.

The roster Zito has created and maintained is not built upon the draft but from free-agency and crafty trades.

Outside Aleksander Barkov and Aaron Ekblad, the wealth of talent in south Florida has come from strategic moves. The remarkable trade with Calgary two years ago brought super-star Matthew Tkachuk, and a separate deal brought veteran Sam Bennett from Calgary just a year before.

Between both deals and the acquisition of Reinhart from Buffalo, the Panthers slowly built a roster full of dream players.

It begs the question of how other NHL teams allowed this slow build-up to occur. If Florida can re-sign Reinhart or find a similar replacement, the team will continue to dominate.

While building a team through the draft has its perks and is perhaps the most ideal foundation for any NHL team, the Panthers have changed the standard in NHL development and made moves to make them a win-now team with still a handful of youthful prospects.

Minor acquisitions, like adding Vladimir Tarasenko at the trade deadline from the Ottawa Senators, were strategic in eyeing postseason play and finals hopes.

The roster is packed with talent, which will inevitably need to be paid.

Honestly, it's a Cup or bust for the Panthers. Winning is contagious and can undoubtedly provide hometown discounts.

There is no way the current roster will stay completely intact, but Panthers fans still maintain a great future around Barkov and Tkachuk.

With all the hype on the draft and building up prospects, the Panthers might be just providing a blueprint in another way to build a dynasty. Time will tell if success continues in Sunrise, but the future looks bright.

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