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With a new coach, Panthers' hopes are high @NHL

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - By the time this season ends, exactly 5,469 days will have passed since the Florida Panthers' last victory in a playoff game.

The Panthers are thinking that epic drought might finally be ending.

General manager Dale Tallon brought in a slew of new faces, including forward Kris Versteeg, goaltender Jose Theodore and former Panther defenseman Ed Jovanovski. The most important move may turn out to be the hiring of new coach Kevin Dineen, part of a hockey legacy family and still remembered for his gritty years as an NHL forward.

Both Tallon and Dineen say whatever happened in the past for the Panthers is irrelevant now. It's a new team, one they say shouldn't be deterred by the inability of past Florida clubs to make the playoffs.

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