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This assumes Langkow does not return to the Phoenix Coyotes, for whom he could still be a useful asset.
It is no secret that the reigning Southeast Division first-place team is short on offensive depth and has lost some key contributors―namely Jason Garrison and Mikael Samuelsson―while some divisional cohabitants have significantly shored up.
Furthermore, though, the Panthers have a modicum of veteran seasoning up front.
The offensively limited Jerred Smithson and the unskilled George Parros are their only forwards above the age of 30. Other than Stephen Weiss, none of their forwards have more than seven NHL seasons to their credit.
Although Langkow’s total output in 2011-12 dipped to its lowest single-season total since the end of the 1990s, that was partially owed to the fact that he was coming off a 2010-11 season where he missed all but four games.
Given that he is 36 years of age, there is no reason to assume Langkow cannot return to the 40-point range and tally a bushel of goals in the mid-to-upper teens. If he can do that, the Panthers will have an extra precious glimmer of hope in trying to keep up with the Hurricanes, Lightning and Capitals.