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Bright future for Hockey in the Sunshine state

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05-10-2004, 04:57 PM
  #1
Darth Milbury
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Bright future for Hockey in the Sunshine state

With two of the most exciting young teams in hockey and (arguably) two of the top five under 25 players in the league (Prince Vincent and Luongo). Visiting The Cats and Bolts could be like he old days when teams always struggled against the Alberta powerhouse Flame and Oiler teams.

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05-10-2004, 05:59 PM
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Floridas exciting to watch? Really?

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05-10-2004, 06:01 PM
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it's pretty tough now,with tampa being a good team, and Luongo literally stealing games for the Panthers, imagine how hard it'll be if the panthers actually become good.(*crosses fingers for Jacques Martin*)

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05-10-2004, 07:49 PM
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I think Luongo and Lecavalier are your flavor of the week.


I see no reason to get giddy about Florida when they haven't really added anything great to their team.

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05-10-2004, 08:06 PM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielBriere48
I think Luongo and Lecavalier are your flavor of the week.


I see no reason to get giddy about Florida when they haven't really added anything great to their team.
Off season shall be fun

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05-10-2004, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielBriere48
I think Luongo and Lecavalier are your flavor of the week.


I see no reason to get giddy about Florida when they haven't really added anything great to their team.
I'd be careful if I were you, these Panthers might make us Sabres fans eat our words. Florida and Atlanta are basically in the same boat as us, and in the next year or two should be the team we fight with for the last spot(s).

Let's just hope we can stay one step ahead of them.

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05-10-2004, 08:15 PM
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Plus the maturation of Horton, Weiss, Nedorost, Bouwmeester, and Kolnik plus steady players in VanRyn and Jokinen who are good solid players. Then, you have the emergence of Stewart, Campbell, Krajicek as a potential top offensive dman in a few years and potentially Filip Novak who, in his own right, is a solid #2 or #3 dman of the future for FLA. Dudley has promised to go after the best free agents available plus probably hiring Martin. Just think of how good that team could be next year and in a few years after. Next year I predict them taking the 6th or 7th spot and the years after if they are smart, FLA could be a top contender. Tampa is not dropping anywhere fast though but I expect all of the SE division teams save for Carolina to make it to the playoffs within the next 3 years and become the strongest division in hockey. mwhahahahahaha.

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05-10-2004, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanthersRule
Plus the maturation of Horton, Weiss, Nedorost, Bouwmeester, and Kolnik plus steady players in VanRyn and Jokinen who are good solid players. Then, you have the emergence of Stewart, Campbell, Krajicek as a potential top offensive dman in a few years and potentially Filip Novak who, in his own right, is a solid #2 or #3 dman of the future for FLA. Dudley has promised to go after the best free agents available plus probably hiring Martin. Just think of how good that team could be next year and in a few years after. Next year I predict them taking the 6th or 7th spot and the years after if they are smart, FLA could be a top contender. Tampa is not dropping anywhere fast though but I expect all of the SE division teams save for Carolina to make it to the playoffs within the next 3 years and become the strongest division in hockey. mwhahahahahaha.

My point exactly. FLA is going to be better in a year or two simply because of time.

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05-10-2004, 08:18 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanthersRule
Plus the maturation of Horton, Weiss, Nedorost, Bouwmeester, and Kolnik plus steady players in VanRyn and Jokinen who are good solid players. Then, you have the emergence of Stewart, Campbell, Krajicek as a potential top offensive dman in a few years and potentially Filip Novak who, in his own right, is a solid #2 or #3 dman of the future for FLA. Dudley has promised to go after the best free agents available plus probably hiring Martin. Just think of how good that team could be next year and in a few years after. Next year I predict them taking the 6th or 7th spot and the years after if they are smart, FLA could be a top contender. Tampa is not dropping anywhere fast though but I expect all of the SE division teams save for Carolina to make it to the playoffs within the next 3 years and become the strongest division in hockey. mwhahahahahaha.
Southeast won't be the strongest no way no how.Northeast and Northwest have a stranglehold on the best division.

I'm more worried about Atlanta then Florida actually...

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05-10-2004, 08:22 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Milbury
My point exactly. FLA is going to be better in a year or two simply because of time.


You could say that about a lot of teams....look at Buffalo.They had 85 points and will soon have a franchise forward in Vanek,a franchise goalie in Miller,a franchise d-man in Kalinin and nice 2nd liners in Pominville and Roy.


Florida had 74 points?They need a lot of room for improvement.

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05-10-2004, 08:25 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanthersRule
Plus the maturation of Horton, Weiss, Nedorost, Bouwmeester, and Kolnik plus steady players in VanRyn and Jokinen who are good solid players. Then, you have the emergence of Stewart, Campbell, Krajicek as a potential top offensive dman in a few years and potentially Filip Novak who, in his own right, is a solid #2 or #3 dman of the future for FLA. Dudley has promised to go after the best free agents available plus probably hiring Martin. Just think of how good that team could be next year and in a few years after. Next year I predict them taking the 6th or 7th spot and the years after if they are smart, FLA could be a top contender. Tampa is not dropping anywhere fast though but I expect all of the SE division teams save for Carolina to make it to the playoffs within the next 3 years and become the strongest division in hockey. mwhahahahahaha.
That mwhahahahahaha really makes the whole thing come to live.

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Old
05-10-2004, 08:49 PM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielBriere48
You could say that about a lot of teams....look at Buffalo.They had 85 points and will soon have a franchise forward in Vanek,a franchise goalie in Miller,a franchise d-man in Kalinin and nice 2nd liners in Pominville and Roy.


Florida had 74 points?They need a lot of room for improvement.
Buffalo doesn't have the same level of young talent as FLA. Miller is unlikey to be in Luongo's class, and I doubt Kalinin will reach JayBo's eventual level. I would take Horton over Vanek, and Weiss over Roy and Pominville.

Yeah, Buffalo and a few other teams have good youth, and will be good with time. I just think that Tampa and Florida wil be two of the best.

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05-10-2004, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielBriere48
Southeast won't be the strongest no way no how.Northeast and Northwest have a stranglehold on the best division.

I'm more worried about Atlanta then Florida actually...

ATL is going to be great.

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05-10-2004, 09:32 PM
  #14
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with the emergence of atl, fla and buff over the next 2 years, who are the teams that are going to be feeling the heat? The next 3 years is going to see a huge switch of power in the East, as many teams are going to see a much tougher test, and may fall in the rankings. Only a handful look like they are on strong enough ground to survive a large onslaught from the lesser teams.

Pitts Wash and the rangers are going to be awful for at least 3 years, as long as a major free agent plunge isnt made. That means 8 playoff spots for 12 teams. Carolina can sneak in, the island are boarderline, and thats where it gets foggy. So many teams have the opportunity to make it, a genuine chance. It may make for an extremely interesting race next year. I am thinking, many teams will die by way of injury, but the talent is there for many teams.

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05-10-2004, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielBriere48
Southeast won't be the strongest no way no how.Northeast and Northwest have a stranglehold on the best division.

I'm more worried about Atlanta then Florida actually...
Atlanta's goaltending is going to be scary good. Throw in a couple of offensive stars and they might cause more than their share of problems.

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05-10-2004, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by me2
Atlanta's goaltending is going to be scary good. Throw in a couple of offensive stars and they might cause more than their share of problems.


Atlanta already is loaded offensively....if Atlanta trades up for Barker or stays put and drafts O'Neill....they'll dominate for the next 10 years.


But Darth, sure those players may have higher upside (though a few I don't agree with) my point is that Buffalo has other players that are much better then Florida's core, I wasn't just including the young players.Jokinen etc don't compare at all to a top 10 offensive team in Buffalo.

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05-10-2004, 10:02 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielBriere48
Atlanta already is loaded offensively....if Atlanta trades up for Barker or stays put and drafts O'Neill....they'll dominate for the next 10 years.

What a silly thing to say. Barker and O'Neill could be huge busts or they could be average NHLers. And in what scenario do you see them trading up for Barker? Both Chicago or Columbus would demand a trade that would hurt ATL more than help them. Feh

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05-10-2004, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Conservative
What a silly thing to say. Barker and O'Neill could be huge busts or they could be average NHLers. And in what scenario do you see them trading up for Barker? Both Chicago or Columbus would demand a trade that would hurt ATL more than help them. Feh



Well, Wes O'Neill and Cam Barker are one of the top defenseman in the draft.....Atlanta already has 2 franchise forwards,a franchise goalie and a franchise d-man...with one more franchise d-man to go along with Coburn,Atlanta will have the best young core in the league.Atlanta is already decent, and would have made the playoffs if Savard hadn't gone down and went on a horribe losing streak....

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05-10-2004, 10:51 PM
  #19
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Florida has tons of young talent, but they have yet to live up to their potential outside of Jokinen. Van Ryn is nothing more than a journeyman and has never lived up to his pre-NHL hype when he used "the loophole" to leave the Devils and become a UFA. JayBo is still very much a work in progress, it is too early to say if he will be the real deal everyone expects him to be.

Luongo is amazing, and the two young F's they took recently show promise. However I think with Dudley's ridiculous obsession with youth they might not ever get over the hump.

I just do not see much similarity to Tampa Bay whatsoever. Tampa has done a terrific job in building their team, and has shown(unlike Florida) that they will bring in talent to match with their own young players.

And regarding Atlanta, though not highly regarded Garnet Exelby has the makings of a franchise defenseman. And the Thrashers have a youngish D corps which is on the verge of hitting their prime soon. Sutton, Tjarnqvist, Kaberle, Majesky, and Kloucek are all going to be coming into the best years of their careers and should continue to steadily improve.

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05-10-2004, 11:09 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Milbury
With two of the most exciting young teams in hockey and (arguably) two of the top five under 25 players in the league (Prince Vincent and Luongo). Visiting The Cats and Bolts could be like he old days when teams always struggled against the Alberta powerhouse Flame and Oiler teams.
The SouthEast division has 4 budding powers. Atlanta and Washington could join the Sunshine Super Powers to make up the fiercest division in hockey within 3-5 years. The Caps have been stockpiling picks and young talent for a few years and look to have solid depth at every position and have a superstar on the way.

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05-10-2004, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielBriere48
Southeast won't be the strongest no way no how.Northeast and Northwest have a stranglehold on the best division.

I'm more worried about Atlanta then Florida actually...
Toronto could be in for some struggling years, depending on the results of the CBA. Ottawa is the only team I see in the division that is guaranteed to be a long term cup contender, with maybe Montreal challenging.

The Northwest is going to see a declining Avalanche, an unsteady Oil, Canucks are reaching their peak, but not sure a cup is in their future. The wild are building nicely and the Flames look like a team that should be a perennial playoff team and possible cup challenger, but this is hardly a powerhouse division.


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05-10-2004, 11:37 PM
  #22
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It's all about winning. Florida fans support winners, but when the going gets tough...people in Florida find other things to do. Ask the Heat and Dolphins, and even ask the Panthers. When they were hot in 96-97 they were very popular, but havent been all that succesful since.

These teams will need to keep winning to keep the fans coming. That can be said for alot of teams, but I think its even more important in the non-traditional hockey regions of the U.S.

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05-11-2004, 12:05 AM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielBriere48
Atlanta already is loaded offensively....if Atlanta trades up for Barker or stays put and drafts O'Neill....they'll dominate for the next 10 years.


But Darth, sure those players may have higher upside (though a few I don't agree with) my point is that Buffalo has other players that are much better then Florida's core, I wasn't just including the young players.Jokinen etc don't compare at all to a top 10 offensive team in Buffalo.

The truth of the matter, DB48, is that Buffalo has a very fine young core. I've never made any secret of the fact that I am a big Darcy Reiger fan. And, I agree with you that Miller et al. will be great.

A number of teams look about read to go into decline (sadly, including my Islanders) and I think FLA, Tampa, Calgary, Buffalo, will be the stronger teams of the next decade.

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05-11-2004, 12:07 AM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Higgy4
It's all about winning. Florida fans support winners, but when the going gets tough...people in Florida find other things to do. Ask the Heat and Dolphins, and even ask the Panthers. When they were hot in 96-97 they were very popular, but havent been all that succesful since.

These teams will need to keep winning to keep the fans coming. That can be said for alot of teams, but I think its even more important in the non-traditional hockey regions of the U.S.

So true. A team like the Leafs could play .500 or below hockey and still sell out every night. If the Preds, Bolts, or Cats do that, they'll be out of buisness.

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05-11-2004, 12:15 AM
  #25
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Wow, I disagree with a lot of posters I usually agree with, like Darth and Mac.

I think the future of these teams looks good, but there's nothing special there.

Right now, you can make a good case for 50% of the league as being potential risers. Than you have to account that the successful team often find ways to STAY successful.

It's not just about player development. Many posters at HF make the mistake of projecting 5-6 years ahead. Doesn't work that way in the NHL. The average NHL team tends to change a LOT in five years.

The Bolts and Panthers seems to be on the right way. But I can make a case for many teams:

Pens
Thrashers
Caps
Kings
Jackets
Habs
Bruins
Preds
Sabres
Hawks

All the teams above have some hyped prospects and/or very significant prospect depth and/or some youth that are already making sparks.

Here are teams that are enjoying success now and could make it a tough fight in the next 3-4 years:

Sens
Devils
Stars
Leafs
Wings
Avs
Flyers

Then there are teams a bit under the radar but could be just as competitive:

Oilers
Wild

There are teams I like a little less, like the Coyotes but a lot of folks say they have also a promising future and all it would take is a closer look to see *possibilities*. That's pretty much all there is to it. You can look at raw talent but it's got to be developed. That's when the cards are shuffled and what looked like certainty doesn't seem so likely.

I haven't mentioned the Canucks. Hopefully the new GM has a brain and will pick talent in the drafts. The core is nice enough that this team can be reworked in a minute.

Haven't mentioned the Rangers but I garantee that once the draft is over, people will look the team over and see a potential very promising future.

Then there's the Flames. Best thing for a franchise isn't prospects. It's having an elite coach. That's what the Flames have. On top of that, they have some nice young talents already playing in the NHL. Phaneuf could be great and there are a few long shots that could pay big.

I never count the Isles out as Milbury has a way of making drastic changes. I think he drafts pretty well at times.

I could go on and on. I have not addressed the fact that some of the better rookies in the NHL often come from nowhere. Hejduk, Drury, Markov, Bergeron, Hunter, Ryder, Nabokov. Nowhere picks. Many of them take the league totally by surprise. Or former "busts" like Daniel Briere, who used to be an example used to address bad drafting all the time on this board when I first came here.

There will be surprises, there will be busts, trades, signings, failures to make the playoffs, successes, upsets and I do not think it is clear that the Panthers or Bolts have a much better chance than the rests.

I would say that the Bolts are taking steps in the right direction by learning how to win. Besides that, I know nothing. It all starts with the GM, the coaching, and then there's lots of factors, drafting being only ONE of them. Others include the ability to adjust, the ability to retain your better players and your core.

Anyway, that's how I see it.

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