Two years, the Florida Panthers were one of the surprise teams in the NHL, earning 103 points on the season, winning the Atlantic division and reaching the Playoffs. After a sluggish start last year, they fired coach Gerard Gallant. They were not nearly as good last year, thanks in large part to injuries to Jonathan Huberdeau, but their best forward in the playoffs in 2016, Reilly Smith, and breakout 30 goal scorer Jonathan Marchessault kept them competitive through most of the season.
Now, this year, Gallant leads the Vegas Golden Knights, the Panthers traded Smith to Vegas and Marchessault was left exposed in the expansion draft. Smith and Marchessault play on the top line for Vegas, and the Golden Knights are comfortably atop the Pacific Division, thanks in very large part to those three former Florida Panthers. It is possible that the Florida Panthers don’t know what they are doing.