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Looking To Get Acclimated Quickly

Newest Panthers veterans hope to make an impact in condensed time frame.

Tuesday, 01.15.2013 / 8:00 AM ET / News
By Glenn Odebralski  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Looking To Get Acclimated Quickly
Defensemen Brian Campbell and Filip Kuba chat prior to Monday's scrimmage. The two should pair up this season to form an offensive force.

A silent offseason could actually be a blessing for the Panthers in this shortened season.

If the team had gone up against a 48-game schedule last season, there might have been a huge concern starting it with over half of a new roster, including a new head coach and system. But thankfully, that's not the case as the majority of players returned from a team that won the Southeast Division Championship.

There will be a few new faces in the lineup with forwards Peter Mueller and George Parros along with defenseman Filip Kuba brought in through summer signings. Toss in the likely addition of super prospect Jonathan Huberdeau and maybe another addition (tryouts Alex Kovalev or Marek Svatos or another young player) and the Panthers may have five new faces. That's a far cry from the 12 from the previous season.

Mueller, Parros and Kuba all took part in their first practice with the team as camp opened on Monday at the JetBlue Practice Facility at the Saveology.com Iceplex. Huberdeau, on the other hand, was kept out for precautionary reasons by GM Dale Tallon and head coach Kevin Dineen. He’ll return to the ice on Tuesday.

For the three veteran additions, it was a great feeling to get on the ice as an official member of the Panthers.

"I'm excited for it. It's a fresh start for me," said Mueller who centered a line with Kovalev and Jon Rheault Monday. "I just want to bring to this team what I can do. I know what I'm capable of doing and I'm just trying to help the team win."

"Personally I felt good actually," said Parros. "I was concerned to see how I was going to be getting back on the ice, full practice for the first time but I felt good. I found a little bit of cohesion with my teammates and my line mates so far and I like the way things are going after day one."

While the forwards are getting their first look with the organization, it's a return to roots for Kuba so to speak. Although, a lot of time has passed since Florida drafted in the eighth round in the 1995 draft (192nd overall).

"It was a long time ago. It's a new year," said Kuba who played in just 18 of his 792 career NHL games in a Panther uniform. " I'm very excited. The Panthers wanted to sign me here. There was interest in me so that was great and I'm happy that I'm here."

The three will look to blend in to the dressing room quickly. It will certainly be tough with only five days until Saturday's home opener, but it's something everyone is looking forward to.

"Obviously it takes a little bit more time but I think it's a lot of communication," said Lady Byng winner Brian Campbell who should be paired with Kuba this season to create an offensive force from the blue line similar to last year’s combination of Campbell and Jason Garrison. "I was playing with Kuba today, just trying to talk on the bench after shifts, what I like and hopefully some things that he likes.

"It's a challenge but it was like that last year. I know it's a shorter amount of time going into this season but we have a lot of access to video and everything to get accustomed to each other."

"With the abbreviated schedule, a crunched camp here. A lot of teams have a short amount of time together, even more so for me because I'm not used to playing with these guys," stated Parros. "Maybe that's a little more difficult but I feel good and I feel ready. It's a challenge that I'm willing and ready to accept and I'm looking forward to it."

“Things ended poorly in Colorado. I only put in 40 games last season,” said Mueller. “I'm definitely biting my finger nails a little bit to get going. I'm excited to be here and excited to play some hockey.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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