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State of the Union Podcast Nov. 7, 2014

by Mike Lewis / Florida Panthers

Welcome to Florida Panthers: State of the Union, where we talk all things Panthers hockey as well as what is going on in the NHL.

Mike Lewis is the voice behind the State of the Union and each week will look to bring in some insight from analysts and Panthers media personalities.

This week’s guest, Florida Panthers television analyst and former Panthers forward, Bill Lindsay.

ML: In your last season as a player in Florida, you played with a young Roberto Luongo. How has seeing the evolution of this goaltender from his early days to his return to South Florida as a leader and a veteran been? He truly has become a big part of the franchise’s history. How has it been watching him grow into the player he is today?

BL: It’s been fun. I think that’s the big point you just mentioned, that he’s become a leader and a veteran in this league. When he was young and starting out, he always had the talent was tremendously gifted, I think he’s more polished now as a goaltender, more poised. He went to Vancouver and played in a heavy media market so I think he’s learned how to deal with all kinds of different pressures that come with that goaltending position. I think he’s better suited in Florida for a second go-around, to be a leader, to be the face of the franchise. But like I said, he’s always had the talent since day one and that’s shown. He’s been a very consistent goaltender in this league and to have Roberto Luongo back is very special for the Panthers.

ML: Rocco Grimaldi and Vincent Trocheck have been turning a few heads since being called up. What are your thoughts on these two young players jumping into the lineup and showing promise?

BL: They’re going to push. The thing that we have now in the Panthers organization is depth. When you get players called up from San Antonio and the minors, you’ve got talented players that are NHL-caliber players. Maybe they are not ready but they are players that are going to push for jobs in the NHL. So if we have players that are hurt or players not playing well, when we do have call ups you can see some of the talent and depth we have in the minors with Grimaldi, Trocheck and these types of players. They can come in and be effective and help your hockey club which is I don’t think, something we’ve had in the past. I don’t think we’ve had that kind of organizational depth. We’ve been able to build that and that’s a good thing for a team. It breeds healthy competition and if you want to be here you’ll have to play well and Trocheck and Grimaldi came in from San Antonio and they pushed. They’ve made it a competitive environment and have played very well.


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