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Competition Makes You Stronger

Monday, 07.9.2012 / 3:30 PM ET / News
By Glenn Odebralski  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Competition Makes You Stronger

It's the old adage that "competition makes you stronger".

That fits the Panthers organization, especially when looking at the future.

Florida concluded it's summer Development Camp last week and the competition both on and off the ice was intense. In fact, it's the best that Panthers GM Dale Tallon has seen since he's joined the organization two years ago. Three very successful drafts which has added 28 players to the system will do that. Adding players with talent, size, speed and character to the organization's system has bumped up the competition levels.

"This is great. We're getting deeper and deeper," said Tallon following the close of Camp on Friday. "Every year it is better and better. The competition level is fierce. It's an exciting time for our franchise."

Of those 28 draft picks over the last three years, 16 have come in the first three rounds, five in the top 30 picks. It's no wonder that Hockey's Future ranked the Panthers as having the best organizational depth in each of their last two rankings.

"The depth of the organization is quite evident when we look out there and there's lots of competition for jobs, not only in the short term but in the long term," said Panthers Director of Scouting Scott Luce. "Once again, it's an overall success. For the new guys coming in, Dale has established a culture that the bar is where it's at."

With only 23 players making up an NHL roster, at max, a lot of the players realize that the supply (roster spot) is much less than the demand (number of players looking for one) in terms of locking up a spot in the future.

"It's not only spots on the big club but it's also spots for contracts. We had two very successful drafts in regards to quantity of players and we had another draft, this past draft, we didn't have as many picks as the previous two," said Luce. "So when you look at that the quantity of high-end prospects battling for specific number of contracts in any given year over the next three years is going to be very significant.

"We've got a lot of tough decisions moving forward on who to sign, when to sign. We have to manage that and put the different puzzle pieces together accordingly on a year-to-year basis."

Those that were in attendance at Development Camp are well aware of the competition for those spots. They'll head back home to train and get better, just trying to make sure they take that next step to earning a spot in Florida.

"I think it's a great thing. We have better new guys coming in every year and I think it's only going up for this organization," said 2011 third round pick Vincent Trocheck (64th overall). "It showed in the rankings, we were number one future team prospects and I think it definitely shows."

And even if a player won't be attempting to make the leap to the pros this upcoming season, it doesn't mean that the Panthers brass will give them a reprieve about their immediate futures.

"Some are going back to college and some are going to Juniors and some are going back to Europe. We've got them from all different walks of life," said Tallon. "They know that they're fighting for jobs down the road.

"You keep a book on these kids and how they performed and how they progressed and who wants it the most and how they compete against each other. You keep a file on these young guys and they know that. They know there's going to be competition for jobs."

But as Tallon told the players at the close of camp, if they're up for the challenge both as individuals and as a group, good things ahead are to be expected.

"I told these kids that I'm very proud of them," said Tallon. "A lot of good players. A lot of top notch people fighting for jobs…Nothing but good news for us as far as the future is concerned with the talent we do have coming and the character that we do have coming."




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


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
R. Luongo 28 19 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 6 7 2 .892 3.01

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