Florida Panthers: 5 Factors to Lead the NHL Eastern Conference Next Season

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Florida Panthers: 5 Factors to Lead the NHL Eastern Conference Next Season
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images
The Panthers had a great season last year, and it should be acknowledged that they can do better

The Florida Panthers shocked the hockey world last year by winning the Southeast Division, beating out teams like the Washington Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning

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.  

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