What does our all-time team look like? Some old guys, some (relatively) new guys, and two players on the current roster (one forward, one defenseman).
Olli Jokinen - Stephen Weiss - Scott Mellanby
Nathan Horton - Pavel Bure - Viktor Kozlov
Ray Whitney - Rob Niedermayer - Radek Dvorak
David Booth - Stu Barnes - Ray Sheppard
Healthy Scratch: Bill Lindsay
Jokinen and Weiss get reunited on the first line, with Mellanby on the right side. The second line boasts some serious firepower with Hall-of-Famer Pavel Bure centering Kozlov and Horton. The third line actually played together for three seasons at the end of last century (if not always on the same line). The fourth line could probably be a first line on a few teams in the NHL. In all, a frightening array of talent. If ever this team had been able to take the ice in the same era, maybe we'd boast a bit more hardware in the old trophy case.
Robert Svehla - Jay Bouwmeester
Gord Murphy - Ed Jovanovski
Paul Laus - Bryan McCabe
Healthy Scratch: Mike Van Ryn
Svehla and Bouwmeester together is quite a thought. Between the two missing nary a game and leading the Panthers in assists more often than not, the Panthers power play would be a force to be reckoned with. The Murphy/Jovanovski pairing would have opposing top lines thinking twice about parking in front of the Panthers goal. Meanwhile, the third pairing of Laus and McCabe would bring grit and finesse for depth.
Healthy Scratch: Tomas Vokoun
How many starts would the Beezer get backing up Bobby Lou? Probably 15 to 20. Would T-Vo ever escape San Antonio? Probably not.
Whatever you think of the all-time team, I'm sure we can all agree that the Panthers would field a genuine contender. The future looks bright, too, with possible future all-timers in all three categories. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom, forwards Quinton Howden, Drew Shore, Nick Bjugstad, and Jonathan Huberdeau, and defensemen Colby Robak and Alex Petrovic, among others. We have a lot to look forward to in South Florida hockey, if only they would just play already.