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News

Looking To Get Acclimated Quickly

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

Tuesday, 01.15.2013 / 8:00 AM / 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 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 49 14 32 3 92 174 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 46 16 13 -1 29
A. Ekblad 46 7 21 6 28
J. Huberdeau 43 9 17 1 26
J. Jokinen 45 4 21 -3 25
B. Boyes 44 10 12 2 22
J. Hayes 38 13 7 0 20
S. Bergenheim 35 8 9 1 17
A. Barkov 35 5 10 -5 15
B. Campbell 46 3 11 -1 14
D. Kulikov 41 1 13 -4 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 18 11 8 .920 2.42
A. Montoya 3 4 2 .891 2.96
 
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