A quarter of the season is basically done, and the Florida Panthers are on pace to finish the season with 60 points. This has been without a doubt the worst Panthers team I have seen in my ten years of watching them.
Talent has always been a problem for the Panthers, but now it seems some of the players don't care about winning, and are just here to collect paychecks. The defense and goaltending has been solid as advertised, but the play of the forwards has been at times sickening to watch.
There are some forwards who really are trying, but just can't finish. Players like Radek Dvorak, Richard Zednik and Villie Peltonen are not the most talented players in the world, but they play every shift like it's their last. I will take players like that over talented players who don't put out every night.
Players like Nathan Horton, Jay Bouwmeester, Kamil Kreps and Rostislav Olesz have been incredibly disappointing this season.
It seems Horton does not show up on some nights, while Bouwmeester clearly does not want to be in Florida. Olesz has been nothing short of an utter disappointment, as he just can't seem to reach his potential. Kreps has also had the same problems as Olesz.
General Manager Jacques Martin must trade Boumeester as soon as possible. The Panthers do not have the cap space to sign him, and if they trade him now they can still possibly get equal value back for him. The longer Martin waits, the more likely it will be for him to receive little to nothing for Bouwmeester.
Martin has over and over again stated that players like Nathan Horton, Stephen Weiss, Kamil Kreps and Rostislav Olesz have loads of potential. But potential won't get you anywhere.
The Panthers must shake up this team, or Florida will be in the John Tavares, Victor Hedman sweepstakes.
The Florida Panthers need an attitude change and a roster shakeup. At this rate it is going to take nothing short of stellar play from Florida in order for this team to be respectable again.