It’s been more than two weeks since the end of the Florida Panthers regular season, and while I still maintain some feelings of disappointment at missing the playoffs, particularly as I’ve watched these exciting first round games, I find myself mostly focusing on the excitement and potential of the upcoming offseason.
Through my regular conversations with GM Dale Tallon, Assistant GM Michael Santos and Bill Torrey, I know they view the next few months as an incredible opportunity to remake this franchise the way they see fit. With the most flexibility in the league heading into the NHL Entry Draft and free agency, Dale has pledged to be aggressive in improving our team and setting us up to be successful both next season and in the future.
Dale and his staff will have the resources necessary to take the next step in his blueprint and infuse this team with more of the skill, size, speed and character that we require. Frankly, I wish we didn’t have to wait until late June for the action to get started.
Like many of our fans, I’m looking forward to seeing the make-up of our team that takes the ice on opening night 2011. And while the bulk of our offseason plan will take place during the Draft and free agency, you cannot discount what Dale and his staff have done recently in signing 2010 draft prospects Alex Petrovic
, Quinton Howden
and John McFarland
to entry-level agreements. These are players that represent the future of our franchise, and our fans should be thrilled that they’ll have an opportunity to continue their development and compete for a roster spot next season.
Meanwhile, our hockey operations staff is spending a lot of time scouting in both the amateur and professional ranks, and knowing Dale and Michael as I do, there’s not going to be a better prepared group in the league once the offseason officially begins in June.
It’s an exciting time to be leading this organization. Our canvas is virtually clean, and with people like Dale Tallon, Michael Santos, Bill Torrey and others on the job, our fans should be greatly looking forward to watching the picture become more clear. I know I am.
Thanks to all of our fans for your continued support, and I look forward to seeing you at some of our summer events.