- Associated Press - Monday, October 3, 2016

FLORIDA PANTHERS

LAST SEASON: 47-26-9, 103 points. Won Atlantic Division. Lost to New York Islanders in Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

COACH: Gerard Gallant (third season, sixth NHL season).

ADDED: D Keith Yandle, G James Reimer, G Reto Berra, D Mark Pysyk, D Jason Demers, LW Jared McCann.

LOST: D Erik Gudbranson, D Willie Mitchell, D Dmitry Kulikov, D Brian Campbell, G Al Montoya, LW Lawson Crouse, C Dave Bolland, RW Jiri Hudler.

PLAYER TO WATCH: D Aaron Ekblad. The All-Star is still only 20, is entering his third season and was years from being born when Jaromir Jagr started his NHL career. But after big changes on the blue line this summer, Ekblad now has a leadership role and Florida is convinced he’s ready for the responsibility.

OUTLOOK: Getting back to the playoffs won’t be enough to satisfy this team. The ownership group led by Vincent Viola and Doug Cifu has committed big money with the expectation of winning now, and for older - but still crucial - players like Jagr and Roberto Luongo the window to hoist the Stanley Cup isn’t as open as it once seemed.

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