The Panthers have been on an upward trajectory for several years now. The fan base has grown exponentially, and those fans are thirsty for a winning team to root for. From securing their star players to the front office to the goaltending, the Panthers are turning a corner in their franchises’ history, and why I think their Stanley Cup window is now open.
Barkov and Tkachuk
The Panthers headlined the NHL offseason by disassembling their President’s Cup-winning team and trading Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie to the Calgary Flames in exchange for Matthew Tkachuk.
With 78 points through 57 games, Tkachuk has been everything the Panthers dreamed he’d be. The Panthers are in great shape, as both Tkachuk and Barkov are signed to long-term deals. The Panthers can put aside the worries of finding the faces of their franchise for almost the next decade, something the team has struggled with since the organization’s birth in 1993.
Management is Aggressive
The Panthers’ front office is yet another strong reason why the Panthers will win the cup in the next 5 years. From Matthew Caldwell, the President and CEO of the Florida Panthers, to Bill Zito, General Manager, the Panthers have top-tier talent in their front office, and the team bore the fruits of their labor last year.
The front office believes so much in the team that they did not let the success of last year cloud their perception of how to best proceed this past offseason. As the front office continues to think of innovative ways to progress the team, the rest of the league needs to be wary of the Panthers.
Goaltending has been the issue that has held the Florida Panthers back for the past few years. Sergei Bobrovsky does not become a free agent until the 2026 offseason, but don’t rule out the Panthers from making an aggressive move to cut “Bob” from the roster. The team won’t be able to find a trade partner based on his performance over the past few years, and management will need to cut ties to progress the franchise.
Doing so would give a golden opportunity to the backup goalie and former first-round pick Spencer Knight. Knight has had some ups and downs over his few years in the NHL. The talent is clearly present in Knight’s play, and it is only a matter of time before he figures it out, or the aggressive front office will have to proceed with alternative options.