Panthers Insider

Southeast Gets Stronger

Capitals, Hurricanes make splashes on first day of 2012 draft to improve offenses.
Friday, 06.22.2012 / 8:17 PM ET
By Glenn Odebralski - / Panthers Insider
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If the Panthers hope to win their second straight division crown next year, they'll certainly be in for some extremely tough sledding when it comes to facing the rest of their rivals.

A little over an hour into the draft and two of their division foes improved themselves immensely, especially along the forward ranks, as they made blockbuster trades.

First the team that finished second in 2011-12 got things started as the Washington Capitals sent forward Cody Eakin and a 2012 second round pick to Dallas for center Mike Ribeiro. The play-making forward has sick hands as evidence by his almost 400 assists over his 12-year NHL career. He has 560 points (173-387-560) in 737 career games.

The first stone was cast in the battle for Southeast Division supremacy.

The Carolina Hurricanes would not be outdone as they made a trade with the draft hosts, acquiring versatile center Jordan Staal, team captain's Eric's younger brother. Stuck playing third fiddle behind superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, Jordan still provided offensive punch while shutting down opposing teams offenses as he has posted 248 points (120-128-248) in 431 games over six NHL seasons.

Talk about saying game on to the competition. 2012-13 just got all the more difficult. is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks and NHL Draft name and logo are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.