Was this a fluke? Doesn't seem to be the case.
Judging by the roster heading into the 2012-13 season, if all goes well, the Florida Panthers could have a legitimate chance at challenging the best teams in the Eastern Conference for the overall lead.
On top of everything, Hockey's Future ranks the Florida Panthers first in organizational rankings. This not only makes the Panthers good for now, but presumably for years to come.
If the following five elements go right for the Panthers, they should be considered a dark-horse candidate to place first in the Eastern Conference.