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On the Prowl: Week of 6/16

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The dawn of free agency, dealing the number one overall pick, and trade rumors.

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Ottawa Senators captain Jason Spezza has requested a trade.
Ottawa Senators captain Jason Spezza has requested a trade.
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The Stanley Cup Finals are over; the Los Angeles Kings are the 2014 Stanley Cup Champions.  Down here in Florida, however, we don't really care all that much. Our attention is turned to the offseason; we have the number one overall draft pick, and over 30 million dollars in cap space to spend.  For the first time in a while, we look forward to the summer with lots of optimism (and unfortunately, the usual dose of skepticism) as this offseason could make, or break, the next 5+ years of hockey in South Florida.  Say what you will about the true importance of the offseason, this year is different than others.  Lots of the Cats' young guns showed they have what it takes to be good in the NHL, and the group of players that Tallon has drafted and developed are starting to look like the core of a Stanley Cup championship team.  If the right moves are made this summer, the Panthers could be looking at a Cup run sometime in the next five years; if the wrong ones are made, we may fall short and descend back into the mediocrity from which we came.

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