Following the success of the mid-1990's the Panthers had a long dry run. From 1997-2011 the Panthers only made the playoffs one time, and that was in 2000, when they were shutout in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the New Jersey Devils 4-0. In 2012 the Panthers made the playoffs once more and once again faced the Devils in the first round, this time losing in seven games. However, there may be some hope on the horizon. The Panthers have several young players who have emerged from the rubble. 22-year-old left winger Jonathan Huberdeau led the team in points, 54, and assists, 39, this season. 22-year-old center Nick Bjugstad led the team in goals with 24.
The NHL Florida Panthers were founded in 1993 in Sunrise, Florida, a suburb of Miami. The Panthers made a real quick rise to success, winning their one and only Eastern Conference Championship in 1996, and therefore reaching the Stanley Cup Finals. The Panthers team of the 1995-1996 season won a lot of close games, due to the goaltending of the great John Vanbiesbrouck, who had begun his career in 1981 with the New York Rangers and already had an impressive resume before arrive in South Florida. Banbiesbrouck was elected into the hall of fame in 2007.
The Florida Panthers had a very good 2015-2016 season. They finished the season with 103 points, good for the third-best record in the Eastern Conference. Due to the unusual format of the Stanley Cup
Playoffs, they drew the 5th seeded New York Islanders in round one. The Islanders won the series in six games, thus ending the Panthers season. The Panthers made some very notable moves in the offseason, starting with management. In May, they named Dale Tallon President of hockey operations and Tom Rowe general manager.
On July 1, they signed 2014 number one pick overall defenseman Aaron Ekblad to an eight year, 60 million dollar contract extension. That same day, they signed free agent goalie James Reimer to a five-year contract. Three days later, they extended forward Vincent Trocheck to a six-year contract extension. In September, they extended former third overall draft choice forward Jonathan Huberdeau to a six-year contract extension. How have the moves translated to this season for this team? Well, not very good. To this point in the season, the Panthers have just 30 points, which places them in a three-way tie for 9th place in the Eastern Conference.