Based on our commitment to accessibility, we would like to take this opportunity to give you some insight into our hockey club’s strategy moving forward. After consulting with General Manager Randy Sexton and Head Coach Pete DeBoer, it is clear that our team, the way it is currently structured, is not equipped to meet the goals and objectives that we have set for ourselves, our fans and our partners.
Those goals are simple: qualify for the postseason on an annual basis, maintain a level of sustainable success, put a product on the ice that we can all be proud of, and compete for a Stanley Cup sometime in the near future. Our discussions with our hockey operations department about the composition and the strength and weaknesses of this Florida Panthers team have been extensive and ongoing, and based on those discussions and the inability to meet our goals, it is obvious that significant change is required.
Thus, GM Randy Sexton has begun the process of reshaping this team in order to achieve our goals and objectives. This is a multi-step process, beginning now, ahead of the trading deadline, and continuing through the draft, free agency and training camp – so we ask that you assess our success only once this process has run its course.
Unfortunately, these changes will not always be easy for our fans and supporters to accept or understand. These changes also may not be easy for our coaches, players and staff. But they are necessary. No small changes or quick fixes will do. But please note that these changes are part of an overall plan to make the best use of our current assets and set this franchise up to achieve the success we want as quickly as possible, and to maintain it.
Clearly, we are not satisfied with some of the players on this team that do not possess the characteristics we need to be successful. We must be accountable for that. Our task moving forward is to acquire players with the attributes, skills and qualities we want in a Panthers player. We must admit the significant shortcomings we have as an organization, and we must move quickly and efficiently to overcome these shortcomings and reshape this franchise on a much more solid foundation.
As passionate fans and supporters of the Florida Panthers, this is what you deserve, and nothing else will do. Thank you for the emotion, the dedication and the loyalty that you have shown to your Panthers and please know, that as Managing Partners of this franchise, we are working hard to provide you with a hockey team you can be proud to call your own.
Cliff Viner & Stu Siegel
Florida Panthers Hockey Club