The future is brighter than ever right now.
I haven't been a fan of the Panthers for too long. I haven't been suffering as long as some of you guys. But I know that the Panthers are in the best shape they've been in since the Stanley Cup. Now many of you know this already, but for those that don't believe me (and I hope you're reading) here's why:
Dale Tallon did something no other GM for the Cats did: he had the balls to make big moves. 8 trades overall starting with the Michael Frolik trade. He unloaded nearly $17 million in salary, freeing up enough space to re-sign Tomas Vokoun if he wants to, and also, wait for it, go after Brad Richards. Crazy, right? He wanted to trade away the pieces he didn't see fit to keep for his "blueprint". And, we already have the signs to know that this will work, it just may take some time.
Look at the minor acquisitions Dale made in the offseason. He and Mike Santos made a relatively harmless trade in getting Mike Santorelli from Nashville. What has he done? Only have the second most points on the Panthers as of now. What about Marty Reasoner? Traded for Jeff Taffe, all he's done is basically become the Panthers next captain. You can look at Mike Weaver, and all of the draft picks to see this point. And finally, what about the coaches? Gord Murphy, the former Panther, has turned a team that was one of the worst in the league in shots allowed to one of the best, and now they have the best PK in the league. How's that?
Sure there is a ways to go, and I know that. But, with the half-baked rebuilds in the past regimes, this is a welcome change, and finally, we know that the team is heading in the right direction. Heck, if the ping-pong balls fall right, we could get the #1 pick in the entry draft, as Dale had with Chicago in 2007. Immediate success wasn't happening, but the future is brighter than ever, and those of you with blinders on better take them off, or else you'll never see the bright future ahead.
Dale's not done. Not for awhile, no. The summer should be fun.