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The Panthers 2011-12 season is quickly approaching and with that, floridapanthers.com is going 15 in 15 by taking a look at the top five questions, players to watch and games of the season on a countdown to the home opener on October 15th against Tampa Bay. We'll unveil one of the top five on a rotating basis each day to help fans get ready for what hopes to be an exciting season.

PURCHASE TICKETS TO THE HOME OPENER

Countdown 13: No. 5 Question; Who Will Wear The Letters?

Sunday, 10.2.2011 / 7:26 PM ET / Countdown To Home Opener 2011
By Glenn Odebralski  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Countdown 13: No. 5 Question; Who Will Wear The Letters?

Center Stephen Weiss has been an alternate captain for the Panthers the last four seasons. Will he have a different letter on his jersey this season?
In today's topic, we take a closer look at who might wear the letters in the Top Five Questions this season.

With so many new faces looking to come together in such a short period of time in hopes of success, the question seems to be; who will the team leaders be?

It's been asked by media members on a weekly basis. Who will be named the seventh captain in franchise history for the upcoming season. There's also the question of who will be named the alternate captains.

It will probably be one of the earliest questions answered this season as head coach Kevin Dineen has said that the leadership group should be named prior to the start of the season.

So who are some of the candidates?

There are plenty of players who have been in the "leadership" group whether it has been on the Panthers or with another team. Stephen Weiss, the longest tenured Panther, has been an alternate captain the past four seasons. A consumate pro, Weiss leads by example. Then there's former Panthers first round pick Ed Jovanovski who before returning to South Florida was an alternate captain with Phoenix and even wore the 'C' while Shane Doan was suspended this past year and was also an alternate captain with Vancouver. Defenseman Brian Campbell has held the position of both captain (December 2007) and alternate captain before with Buffalo. Panthers defenseman Mike Weaver was an alternate captain after being given an 'A' following the trade deadline this past season.

Other players have held leadership positions on their countrie's teams at world tournaments.

Looking at the pre-season, the Panthers have put the 'A' on several players. That list includes Jovanovski, Weaver and Weiss, Tomas Fleischmann, Kris Versteeg, Jason Garrison, Tomas Kopecky, Marcel Goc, Steve Reinprecht, David Booth and Sean Bergenheim. In the last three games, the alternates were Weiss, Jovanovski and Kopecky (vs Tampa on September 24), Fleischmann, Versteeg and Garrison (vs Dallas on September 27) and Fleischmann, Jovanovski and Weaver (at Dallas on September 29).
 
When it comes to naming the team leaders, another question comes to mind. How will the alternates fall? Will Dineen and his coaching staff decide on a rotating position or have four alternates (two for home, two for road or an every other game kind of thing) or will they just go with a normal, captain and two alternates look.

Look for this question to be answered relatively soon.

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 79 15 39 10 54
J. Jokinen 81 8 36 -2 44
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
A. Ekblad 81 12 27 12 39
B. Boyes 78 14 24 11 38
A. Barkov 71 16 20 -4 36
J. Hayes 72 19 16 -4 35
B. Campbell 82 3 24 4 27
B. Pirri 49 22 2 6 24
D. Bolland 53 6 17 4 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 28 19 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 6 7 2 .892 3.01
 
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