31 Steps for the Florida Panthers to win the Stanley Cup

Cats fan J. Hall weighs in with a comprehensive plan

* This 31-point plan was emailed to SBN by Florida Panthers fan, J. Hall. SBN passed it on to Litter Box Cats and I asked Mr. Hall, who would like to remain somewhat anonymous, if I could publish it on the site. Mr. Hall is not a member of  LBC or SBN, so I had to publish it under my name, but that was my only contribution. The idea below are all his. *

Step #1

Championships are won by DEPTH and SMART SPENDING

Every championship team has DEPTH.  Every championship dynasty has INCREDIBLE DEPTH.

The Ownership Group of the Florida Panthers runs a Market Maker Firm in New York City that spends efficiently in the exact same way the New England Patriots and Golden State Warriors spend efficiently.  To create depth, sports teams need to spend efficiently.  If the Florida Panthers owners can take their spending efficiency model from Virtu and apply it to the Florida Panthers, they could increase the depth of the hockey team in the same manner the New England Patriots and the Golden State Warriors efficiently spend to create depth.

New England Patriots, Golden State Warriors

In the modern era, smart spending is how teams create depth.  Depth helps a team overcome injuries and win regular season games, secure playoff births, win playoff games, and win championships.  No modern teams are as smart about efficient spending as the New England Patriots and the Golden State Warriors.  In New York City, very few companies are as efficient as Virtu Financial.  If they can take Virtu's efficient spending efficiency to the Florida Panthers hockey team they could build championship depth with smart spending just like Golden State and New England.

Golden State Warriors:

Steph Curry’s contract.  The entire dynasty was built on Steph Curry’s contract.  It allowed Golden State to build a team ten deep and still go out and recruit Kevin Durant.  If the team overpaid Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, or if Draymond Green got selfish and demanded to be a Super Star on his own team, the dynasty would have died.  The Warriors crush opponents because the contracts they have in the modern salary cap era are better than all opponents.  From positions on the depth chart 1-10 the Warriors get more value and more talents for each dollar they spend.  In a salary cap league that adds up and helps the Warriors big time.  They have so much depth they can rest a star player and still win by a big margin.

New England Patriots:

They have better coaching, development, and depth than anyone in NFL history.  They lose star players and still win Super Bowls.  They focus on a team concept and draft, develop, sign, or trade for humble, smart, and hard working players who want to fit in, work hard, and compete to win Super Bowls.  This team gets more value per position than any team in the NFL.  With a 53 man roster, they get better players at discounts than anyone in the NFL year after year.  They never over pay and they trade players constantly to get more assets.  This team can say without question almost every year that they are the best financially budgeted team in the salary cap NFL.  This is why they have wreaked havoc on the NFL for 15 years, they never overpay and get themselves in a financial hole in one roster spot that can then leak to other positions and cause holes in the depth chart.  The Patriots budget wisely and typically entering any game regular season or playoffs the past 15 years they tend to have no holes and no weaknesses across the board because of wise budgeting with the salary cap.

Why this is advantageous to the Panthers?

Vinnie Viola and Doug Cifu run a company called Virtu Financial in New York City.  The entire business model is financially similar to the New England Patriots and Golden State Warriors.  The Golden State Warriors and New England Patriots are Dynasties because of discounted players.  Discounted salaries allow both franchises to build depth that other competitors cannot because of unwise spending.  Who better to build a financially budgeted hockey team than the guys who run Virtu Financial, Vinnie Viola and Doug Cifu?  The answer is no one.

Aren’t there already advanced analytics teams in hockey?  What could Vinnie Viola and Doug Cifu offer that others do not already offer in the NHL world?

Bill Belichick wants guys on the Patriots staff that are smart enough to be Ph.D. candidates.  The Golden State Warriors are run by a tech billionaire.  The NBA and NFL have tons of smart people, but the New England Patriots and Golden State Warriors aggressively push the envelope in innovation, evolution, and limiting financial risk.  That is exactly what Virtu Financial does.  Virtu Financial is a Market Maker that is innovative, evolutionary, and limits financial risk.

To take the Florida Panthers to the level of the New England Patriots and the Golden State Warriors would be very easy.  The Florida Panthers already have some great players, but the organization lacks depth.  If you study the team, you’ll notice that injuries and the record match up.  In 2016, to get the number 1 seed in the playoffs, the Panthers had to overplay Luongo in the regular season.  After a game 1 loss to the Islanders in the playoffs Luongo admitted the season wore him down.  Loungo was a stud that year, but he was in his 30’s and should have been given more rest.  Having your main goalie admit he is tired after the first playoff game when there could be another two months to go is a very bad sign.  So how do you make the Panthers deeper?

You make the Florida Panthers deeper the same way that Virtu Financial makes money—Using the law of large numbers.  The Florida Panthers need to rest more players than any other NHL team.  They need to pull up more AHL players and sign more free agents than any other team.  Right now they are outside of the playoff race looking in.  Most seasons they miss the playoffs.  Getting veterans more rest and playing younger players early gives the team a chance to not only create more depth, but also have more trade options at the trade deadline to either acquire solid players for a playoff run or trade for future high draft picks and stock the system.

The Panthers need depth.  They need to operate like Virtu Financial.  Virtu Financial is aggressive, innovative, evolutionary, but at the same time, still financially solid.  Those are the same traits that describe the Golden State Warriors and the New England Patriots.  The Florida Panthers need to build depth like the Warriors and Patriots.  Over a long season, and over the years, depth is the only way to consistently win.

If the Florida Panthers get the most financially valuable hockey team in the NHL with young, hungry, and underpaid players like the New England Patriots and the Golden State Warriors, their youth depth and tenacity will be a nightmare for the rest of the NHL.

Vinnie Viola and Doug Cifu are the perfect team to build an NHL team that is as smart and efficient with the salary cap as the New England Patriots and the Golden State Warriors.  Efficient spending in salary cap league create more roster depth.  If Vinnie Viola and Doug Cifu take their ability to efficiently spend and create roster depth with the Florida Panthers, they could dominate the NHL in the same fashion for decades.

The company Vinnie Viola and Doug Cifu created specializes in efficient spending.  The New England Patriots and the Golden State Warriors gain their competitive advantage by efficient spending.  If Vinnie Viola and Doug Cifu take their knowledge of efficient spending down to Florida to create depth for the Florida Panthers hockey team they could become a yearly threat to win the Cup.

Doug Cifu said one of their business concepts for Virtu Financial was to buy 5’s and sell 6’s.  Well metaphorically while the rest of the NFL and NBA pays for 6’s.  The Patriots and Warriors buy 5’s and develop them into 6’s.  If the Panthers can repeat this concept in Florida to create depth, look out NHL, as Vinnie Viola said in an interview, “The Cats are Coming!”

Step #2

The System to Implement

Alabama Crimson Tide Football gets bigger, stronger, faster, and better recruits than opponents and they commit to being physical and running the ball with more physicality and commitment than any team in the country.

The New England Patriots find the smartest, hardest working players and they make more adjustments than any team in the NFL.  They are more prepared, make more adjustments, and make less mistakes than any other team in the NFL year after year.

The 3 time World Series Champion San Francisco Giants had a lethal pitching rotation.

The Golden State Warriors are lethal from 3 point range.

In the 1970’s the Cincinnati Reds had a lethal batting line up.

Championship teams have a Championship Identity.

Connor McDavid is in Edmonton.  Auston Matthews is in Toronto.  Alex Ovechkin is in Washington.  Steven Stamos is in Tampa Bay.  Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are in Pittsburgh.

But Tom Brady was in New England when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers DEFENSE was winning the Super Bowl.  Joe Montana was in San Francisco when the Chicago Bears DEFENSE won the Super Bowl.

So what, the MVP of the NHL isn’t in Florida.  Team DEFENSE can win Championships.  The Florida Panthers need to commit and commit now to being the most relentless and tenacious DEFENSIVE team in the NHL.

It would give the Florida Panthers the identity they have been looking for since 1993.  The Championship teams have an identity that the coaches can coach, the scouts can look for, the General Manager can draft and trade for, the fans can cheer for.

What is the current identity?

I see a young talented roster built by Dale Tallon.  I also have seen that the prospect group is vastly underrated.  If those prospects were in Toronto or Montreal people would be going nuts.  The Panthers are very fast, great skaters, and have tons of skill.

Dale Tallon has assembled an incredible stock pile of talented and fast skaters.

Bob Boughner now needs to teach a simple system.  Even in the offensive zone, Panthers players should be aware of their defensive assignment.  The Panthers need to NEVER allow odd man rushes.  They need to be smart in the neutral zone.

In the defensive zone, they can keep it simple.  Center on center.  Wingers on D.  D on Wingers.  The Patriots are so successful because they allow each player to “Do Your Job”.  If you can’t, then you are replaced.

The Panthers need to adopt this now.  Each Panther player has the job of marking their guy.  As a team, the Panthers are fast enough to skate with anyone.  If they focus each player defending one opposing player then it makes it easy to evaluate who messed up if an opponent gets a good shot or scores a goal.

The Patriots have individual accountability.  When they lose games, guys lose jobs.  This needs to happen with the Panthers now.  Watch them in practice.  Watch the prospects.  Dale Tallon has stock piled fast and good skaters and this team can skate with anyone.

Bob Boughner is a great young coach.  If he flips the system and commits to minimizing risky shots and scoring chances of the opponent, the Panthers would be a nightmare to compete against.

The only reason it wouldn’t work, is lack of effort.  The individual skaters are fast enough to cover their man in the defensive zone.  If each Panthers player “Does Your Job” of covering your guy, then goals should be minimized or completely eliminated for their opponents.

If the other team is scoring, then those players need to improve their defensive positioning and commitment, or pull up a younger player that can “Do Your Job” of marking a skater.

Step #3

Relentless DEFENSIVE Intensity

Same commitment Alabama football takes to running the football.

The Florida Panthers need to take that commitment towards minimizing opponents shots and scoring chances.

create a risk averse hockey team

defensive tenacity

body position

stick on stick

feet moving

avoiding penalties

breaking up passes

body on every guy in defensive zone

relentless defensive intensity

defensively grind down every opponent on every shift

This organization has the speed to be a DEFENSIVE nightmare for every NHL team

If the opponents don’t score, the Panthers cannot lose!

If Alabama has the ball, the other team cannot score.  Alabama's running game eats up clock and momentum.  If the Florida Panthers use their skating speed to relentlessly DEFEND and DEFENSIVELY grind down and DEFENSIVELY wear down opponents and limit the quality scoring chances and quality shots of each opponent, they can be a terrifying hockey team to compete against.

Step #4

Form A Championship Identity

Every Championship Team is the Best At Something

Doug Cifu said the key to success is “Doing one thing.  Doing it well.  Repeating it.”

Alabama Crimson Tide run the football better than anyone.  The Patriots are more prepared and better at adjusting than anyone.  The Seahawks have the most physical secondary in football. The Warriors are better at making 3 pointers than any team in the NBA.

What can the Panthers do better than everyone in the NHL?

The answer is being the hardest working DEFENSE in the NHL.

If the entire organization, from Ownership group, to General Manager to coaching staff to scouts to players to employees to fans all commit to being the hardest working DEFENSIVE hockey team in the NHL the Panthers would have a Stanley Cup Championship identity.

The Oilers had Gretzky.  The Penguins had Lemieux and Jagr, now they have Malkin and Crosby.

Back in 1996, the Florida Panthers with DEFENSE and hard work and grit took down Lemieux and Jagr.  But that team committed to hard work.  If the modern Florida Panthers want to be Champions it starts with a daily commitment to being the Hardest Working DEFENSE from the entire organization.

Every player that is drafted or signs with the Florida Panthers needs to understand that being a Florida Panther means being a part of the hardest working DEFENSE in hockey.

Step #5

Accept the Challenge, modern NHL has most difficult margins to Victory

Modern NHL hardest league to win a game. (Why Virtu is awesome for this)

The NHL is the hardest modern professional sports league to win a championship in.  The last full year of sports in 2016-2017 proves that fact.  In NCAA Football the top offensive team in the nation scored over 45 points per game.  Oklahoma, Michigan, Ohio State, Clemson, and Alabama all scored over 38 points per game.  Connecticut scored 14 points per game.  The gap between Oklahoma, Michigan, Ohio State, Clemson, and Alabama compared to Connecticut is 24 points.  More than three touchdowns.  Even if the top teams in college football have an off game, they should still win.

In the NBA, Houston and Golden State were scoring over 115 points per game while Dallas only averaged 97.  That is an 18 points per game difference.  Even if Houston or Golden State miss a bunch of shots, they still have a huge advantage in most of their games.  They can play average and still expect to win.

In the NFL that season the Atlanta Falcons averaged 33.8 points per game while the St. Louis Rams averages 14.0 points per game.  That is 19.8 points different, almost 3 whole Touchdowns!  Even if the top NFL teams don’t play their best games, they can still beat the lower teams.

In Baseball rounding up, the Boston Red Sox scored almost 2 more runs per game than the Philadelphia Phillies.  The margin is much closer, than the other leagues, but there is no salary cap so the top teams can spend incredible amounts to stack pitching staffs to make the gap between the best teams and worst teams in baseball much larger.

In hockey, the salary cap is incredibly tight and rigid.  In 2016 and 2017 the gap between the best and worst team in the NHL rounded down was only 1 goal.  In 2016 it was 1.01 and in 2017 the gap was 1.38.  Think about that…..

In football, the best teams in college and the NFL are three touchdowns better than the bad teams.  They can play average and still win.  In the NBA, the Warriors and Rockets are almost 20 points better than the bad teams, they can play average and still win.  The offensive numbers in baseball are close, but the wealthy teams spend unfairly on pitching staffs to make the gap between the best and worst teams in baseball much bigger than it seems.  In the NHL the gap between the best and worst team is 1 goal.  1 GOAL!!!!!!

Think about that.  The best team in the league.  All star players in their prime.  Great ownership.  Great drafts.  Fantastic General Manager.  Great Head Coach.  Packed home games with fans excited to compete for the Stanley Cup……..Now picture the exact opposite.  The worst team in the league.  Old has been all stars, guys who are draft busts, or players to young to forge their legacy yet.  Ownership seems unstable.  The drafts are either bad or undetermined.  The General Manager and the Coaching Staff might get fired.  The players might get cut or traded at any moment.  The stadium is empty and the fans are either angry or apathetic…….Now picture those two scenarios.  Do you know what the total difference is... 1 goal.  So if the best and the worst team in the NHL play each other and the best team makes one mistake that lets in a goal, they can lose the game.  1 goal.

Game to game, the NHL is the most competitive league in modern pro sports.  Look through the years.  Gretzky’s Oilers had years where they were 2 and 3 goals on top of the worst team in the league.  Their dominance was amazing.  In the 90’s some teams could get a 2 goal advantage.  Now the advantage is one goal or less.

The margins of winning in the modern NHL are crazy.  That is why I would want Vinnie Viola and Doug Cifu as owners of a hockey team if I was a fan.  Their entire business model of Vitru Financial in New York is built on number margins.  If they take that margin analysis and risk analysis and apply it to hockey, the Panthers would be unstoppable.

Virtu has incredible risk analysis.  They need to take that risk analysis and apply it to goals against and shots against.  They need to bring in players who limit risky shots and scoring chances.

If they create an algorithm for finding players who limit risky shots and scoring chances of opponents.  And they do it for all 6 defensemen and all 12 forwards, the Florida Panthers would have 18 skaters that maximize the risk of the other team getting quality shots and scoring chances.

If you limit the number of quality shots and scoring chances the opposing team gets each game, the other team will score less goals and the Panthers will win more games.

The more games the Panthers win, the more fans in the arena.  The harder it is for opposing teams to get any good scoring chances or quality shots if the entire Panthers team is built using a defensive algorithm minimizing risk.

Virtu Financial succeeds by minimizing risk.  If the Florida Panthers minimize risky shots and risky scoring chances of the opponents, the law of large numbers says that the Panthers goalies will make more saves and let in less goals and that will lead to more victories.

Step #6

Report Cards How to Create and Implement the Hardest Working DEFENSE in the NHL

Panthers DEFENSIVE system score card

0.00-perfect defensive position, perfect defensive play

0.25-lazy, made a good play with luck, out of position

0.50-allowed a pass that could set up a goal, way out of position, slow on the back check, allowing the opponent to get a shot off (any shot can score), didn’t get a stick on a guy in front of the net even if the puck never came, left a guy open in the neutral zone, left a guy open in the offensive zone, head turned wrong way, head down, body in wrong position, not rubbing a guy out to get the puck away from him on the boards or in the corners, not cutting off passing lanes, not physically attacking the puck carrier in the smart team defensive manner coached in practice or in game plan

0.75 -should’ve been a goal, goalie save, hit the post

1.00 -they actually scored a goal

this should be the +/- for EVERY single Florida Panthers player after every single game

this is how the team takes the next step in a well run, dominant franchise

by being the hardest working defensive team in the league

that defensively out works and defensively wears down every single opponent

Step #7

Turn the BB&T Center into the best Home Ice Advantage in the NHL

BB&T Center…..Home Ice Advantage

How many football teams want to play in…..

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

How many NFL Teams want to visit….

Seattle in January

Foxboro in January

The Florida Panthers need to play DEFENSE with such ferocity that no team ever wants to play in Sunrise, Florida.

It starts with a mindset.  Each player. Each coach.  Each fan.  Each employee.  Each Owner.  Each general manager. Each scout.  Deciding that the BB&T Center is the home of the hardest working defensive team in the NHL.  The hardest working defense that wears down and defensively grinds down each and every opponent that comes to town.

Step #8

Miami and South Florida Wins With DEFENSE

Understand what the Championship Miami Teams ALL have in Common.


If you want to win and dominate as a Miami or South Florida Sports Franchise then you need to dominate with DEFENSE!

The history of successful Miami teams starts and ends with DEFENSE.

The Miami Hurricanes went 58-0 from 1986-1994.  In nine years they gave up an average of 11.7 points per game.  In 47 games Miami allowed a touchdown or less.  The strength of “the U” might be swagger and NFL talent, but from the statistics of the longest home winning streak in college football history, the DEFENSIVE numbers show that the Miami Hurricanes DEFENSE was relentlessly crushing opponents to propel that winning streak.

Look up all the AFC Champion and Super Bowl Champion Dolphins teams.  Notice the games they win they run the ball for more yards than the opponent or win the turnover battle.  Limiting opponents running yards and winning the turnover battle is how the Champion Dolphins teams dominated with team DEFENSE!!!!!

Go ahead, go back and look at the rushing yards and turnovers in Dolphins AFC Championship Games and Super Bowls.  Those two numbers usually indicate the winner.

The 2012 and 2013 Miami Heat won the Championship by holding the OKC Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs under 100 points in regulation.  In 2012, the Miami Heat went 3-0 against Oklahoma City in the NBA Finals when holding the Thunder under 100 points in regulation.  In 2013, the Miami Heat went 4-1 against San Antonio in the NBA Finals when holding the Spurs under 100 points in regulation.  In the 2014 NBA Finals, the one game the Miami Heat held the Spurs under 100 points in regulation they won the game.  All four games the Spurs scored over 100 points in regulation the Spurs won the game.  For all the hype about Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen and the offensive stars on the Heat, the numbers show that in reality it was TEAM DEFENSE that won the Championships for the Heat.  From 2012 to 2014, the Miami Heat were 8-1 when holding the Spurs and Thunder under 100 points in regulation.  In that same time the Heat were 1-7 when allowing the Spurs and Thunder to get over 100 points in regulation.  Clearly TEAM DEFENSE for the Miami Heat was the key to their Championship success.

The 1996 Panthers won the Eastern Conference Championship with DEFENSE.

Step #9

Get over trying to be an Offensive Powerhouse---Accept the Championship Identity is relentless DEFENSIVE intensity! That is the Florida Panthers New Championship Identity

Right now Malcolm Butler is a stud, but at the time no one knew he was a stud when he won the Super Bowl with his interception.  In Game 7 against Detroit, neither Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin scored, it was Max Talbot who scored the only goals for the Penguins that won Crosby and Malkin their first ever Stanley Cup.

Sometimes it is the Superstar who makes the game winning play.  Sometimes it is Kyrie Irving, Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, or Kobe Bryant.  But more often than not in hockey, it is a random hard working player who scores.  Check the final game of the Stanley Cup every year.  Yes, sometimes it is a super star, but most goals are scored by hard working players on the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th line.  Sometimes it is even a defensemen who isn’t a known scorer.

The point is, the Panthers don’t need to have the player who leads the NHL in goals or points to win the Stanley Cup.  The Florida Panthers need to be a hard working defensive hockey team that wears down opponents and grinds them down game by game all series long.’

Look at the stats from 2006 until now and compare the NHL league leader in points compared to the team leader in points for the Florida Panthers.

Jokinen 91

Joe Thornton 125

Jokinen 67

Alex Ovechkin 112

Weiss 61

Evgeni Malkin 113

Weiss 60

Henrik Sedin 112

Weiss 49

Daniel Sedin 104

Fleischmann 61

Evgeni Malkin 109

Fleischmann 35 (adj. for shortened season 59)

Martin St. Louis 60 (adj. 102)

Bjugstad 38

Sidney Crosby 104

Huberdeau 54

Jamie Benn 87

Jagr 66

Patrick Kane 106

Trochek 54

Connor McDavid 100

Where are the Florida Panthers going to make up these points?  How are the Florida Panthers going to win the Stanley Cup if their leading scorer is getting crushed year in and year out by the NHL’s league leader in points?

The answer?  They don’t need to outscore other teams.  They need to do what they did in 1996 and against the Chicago Blackhawks in 2016.  Stop the other team from scoring.

Again I repeat, the Panthers success for winning is STOPPING THE OTHER TEAM FROM SCORING with DEFENSE.

In 1996 the Panthers leading scorer all season was Scott Mellanby with 70 points.  The Penguins had two players named Lemieux and Jagr.  Mario Lemieux had 161 points and Jaromir Jagr had 149 points.  However, in the Playoffs the Florida Panthers won the series by DEFENSE.  In the four games the Florida Panthers won against the Penguins in the 1996 Eastern Conference Playoffs Lemieux and Jagr had zero goals.  If the Panthers had gone with an offensive strategy they would have lost, but they chose a hard working defensive strategy that shut down both Lemieux and Jagr to 0 goals in all four games the Panthers won!

In 2016, Patrick Kane was the leading scorer in the NHL.  The Panthers beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0 by shutting down Patrick Kane and the entire Blackhawks team to 0 goals.

There are 31 teams in the NHL.  The statistical odds of getting the league’s leading scorer offensively is very low.  And the numbers above show not only do the Panthers not have the NHL’s top offensive weapon, they are no where near the top of the NHL’s offensive elite since 2006.  But DEFENSE?

Defense is about attitude, effort, and commitment.  Preparation, film work, team work, coaching, effort, and intensity.  Every single time the Florida Panthers won a big hockey game, the defense of the entire team was amazing.  This organization had been up and down because they are trying to be a complete hockey team.  Abandon that idea.

All Detroit Pistons basketball championship teams were physical.  The Super Bowl Champion Ravens always win with aggressive defense.  The 49ers won Super Bowls with innovative offenses and running backs that could catch passes in Roger Craig and Ricky Waters.  The Golden State Warriors win with 3 point shooting.  The 1996 Panthers won big games with defense.  The 2016 Panthers won big games with Defense.  The Miami Hurricanes football team won 58 straight home games with great defense.  The Miami Heat with Lebron James and Dwyane Wade won 2 Championships because they DEFENSIVELY held the OKC Thunder and San Antonio Spurs under 100 points 7 time to win back to back NBA Championships.  The Marlins won two world series as underdogs.  The Miami Dolphins won two Super Bowls with a running game and great Defense.  The 06 Heat were a hard working underdog team.

Miami wins championships as a hardworking underdog and a defensive intensity.

The Panthers are a hockey team in Florida.  No one expects them to win the Cup.  Use that underdog mentality.  And then take that hard working, South Florida DEFENSIVE mindset to defensively attack and defensively wear down your opponent to victory.

This is the identity the Panthers have had in all their big victories since 1993.  A full time commitment to RELENTLESS DEFENSE will energize the Florida fanbase, fill the BB&T Center and put the Florida Panthers on the map as a team no one wants to face.

The Championship Identity of the 1996 Panthers was RELENTLESS DEFENSE.  If the entire organization commits to RELENTLESS DEFENSE and commits to being the hardest working DEFENSE in the NHL this franchise will have the identity needed to win the Stanley Cup.

Step #10

Change the opening intro at the beginning of Games! relentless DEFENSIVE intensity

Opening intro sets the "tone" for the fans!  Let the fans know they are about to witness relentless DEFENSIVE intensity!

The mentality of the Florida Panthers is------- relentless DEFENSIVE intensity----get that into the minds of every fan at the BB&T Center before the game even starts!

Opening intro

players saying-Defense

fan saying-Defense

little kid saying-Defense

employees saying-Defense

owners saying-Defense


trainers saying-Defense

cute kid saying-Defense

zamboni drivers saying-Defense


(rotate this for each game) (different players, fans, and staff)








Then show Defensive highlights of the Panthers taking the puck away from Crosby or the goalie making a save on Ovechkin.  Have highlights of Panthers players making solid team Defensive plays on NHL ALL-STARS to exciting music.




speed, body position, sticks, team defense, clean, hard working defense

clean hard working defense is SELLABLE TO FAMILIES, COMMUNITY

win stanley cups

earn opponents respect

Finish with highlights of the defensive highlights of the 1996 team shutting down playoff opponents and winning the Eastern Conference Championship!

The final words on the screen-----

Florida Panthers relentless DEFENSE is on a mission game by game, shift by shift, until the Cup is brought to South Florida!

Step #11

Forge New Florida Panthers Championship DEFENSIVE Identity and DEFENSIVE DNA

Vinnie Viola and Doug Cifu want the Florida Panthers to be a threat to winning the Stanley Cup every year.


DEFENSE is the key!

In 1996, the Florida Panthers DEFENSE outworked their opponents to win the Eastern Conference Championship.  In 2016, at 10th place in the East in December.  The Florida Panthers buckled down defensively and won 12 games in a row even though they were consistently outshot.

Since 1993, anytime the Florida Panthers DEFENSE wore down and defensively exhausted their opponents they won the game.  Everyone wants to make things over complicated.  Study Miami history.  The Dolphins of the 1970’s had a simple aggressive running attack and tenacious DEFENSE and they won Super Bowls.  All five National Championship Hurricanes teams had phenomenal DEFENSE’S and super star defensive players.  The Lebron James and Dwyane Wade Miami Heat won NBA Championships when they played team defense and held opponents under 100 points in regulation.  Go ahead, look it up.  See the Miami Heat with Lebron James and Dwyane Wade win with team DEFENSE holding OKC and the Spurs under 100 pts.  Then look at the record when the Spurs of Thunder scored more than 100 points in regulation in the NBA Finals.  The reputation of the Big 3 might have been offensive superstars, but the Championship reality was when the Heat played team DEFENSE and held the Spurs and Thunder under 100 points in regulation, the Heat typically won, when they didn’t the Heat typically lost.

The Championship teams in Florida win with Defense.  The crowd needs to embrace the DEFENSIVE focus and mindset of Florida.  DEFENSIVELY OUTWORKING YOUR OPPONENT.



This is how the Miami Hurricanes Won National Championships.  This is how the Miami Heat Won NBA Championships.  This is how the Miami Dolphins Won Super Bowls.  This is how the Miami Marlins as huge underdogs Won Two World Series Championships.

Miami thrives on being the underdog.  Miami thrives on being overlooked, and out working the opponent.  Miami thrives on dominating the opponent DEFENSIVELY.

That is why the Miami Hurricanes Turnover Chain is so powerful.  It fuels the team defensive effort that all great Miami teams display.

The championship identity is there.  Be an underdog.  Work hard.  And play aggressive, exhausting, and tenacious team DEFENSE.

If the Florida Panthers want to win games.  They need to be the hardest working DEFENSIVE team in the NHL.  It worked in 96.  And it worked in 2016.  Every time the Panthers embrace the DEFENSIVE attitude of being DEFENSIVELY AGGRESSIVE AND DEFENSIVELY GRINDING DOWN THE OPPONENT they win.

They need to draft, develop, and trade for DEFENSIVELY aggressive players.

The DNA of the Florida Panthers needs to be DEFENSE, defense, defense, defense, defense.

If the Florida Panthers do everything they can to create the best DEFENSE in the NHL, the Stanley Cup Championships will follow.

Step #12

Past Miami and South Florida Championship Team Photos Framed and Displayed around BB&T Center

Bring the Championship "mindset" and South Florida Family vibe into the BB&T Center.  To do this get pictures and frame them with photos from previous South Florida and Miami Championship teams.  Post pictures, scores, and rosters in a frame with pictures of the team winning the championship.  Post them all over the BB&T Center.  This will bring back memories for fans and bring a Championship Mindset to the organization.

Florida Panthers

1996 Eastern Conference Champions over Pittsburgh Penguins

Miami Dolphins

1984 Dolphins AFC Champions over Pittsburgh Steelers

1982 Dolphins AFC Champions over New York Jets

1973 Dolphins Super Bowl Champions over Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl 8

1973 Dolphins AFC Champions over Oakland Raiders

1972 Dolphins Super Bowl Champions over Washington Redskins in Super Bowl 7

1972 Dolphins AFC Champions over Pittsburgh Steelers

1971 Dolphins AFC Champions over Baltimore Colts

Miami Heat

2006 Eastern Conference Champions over Detroit Pistons

2006 NBA Champions over Dallas Mavericks

2011 Eastern Conference Champions over Chicago Bulls

2012 Eastern Conference Champions over Boston Celtics

2012 NBA Champions over Oklahoma City Thunder

2013 Eastern Conference Champions over Indiana Pacers

2013 NBA Champions over San Antonio Spurs

2014 Eastern Conference Champions over Indiana Pacers

Miami Hurricanes

Hurricanes Football

1983 National Champions over Nebraska Cornhuskers

1987 National Champions over Oklahoma Sooners

1989 National Champions over Alabama Crimson Tide

1991 National Champions over Nebraska Cornhuskers

2001 National Champions over Nebraska Cornhuskers

Hurricanes Women’s Golf

1984 Women’s Golf

Hurricanes Men’s Baseball





Men’s Polo





Women’s Crew

1999 (IRA) (Intercollegiate Rowing Association)

Women’s Golf

1970, 1972, 1977, 1976 (AIAW) (Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women)

Women’s Swimming and Diving

1972, 1976 (AIAW) (Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women)

Florida International University

1982 Men’s Division 2 Soccer National Champions defeated Southern Connecticut State

1984 Men’s Division 2 Soccer National Champions defeated Seattle Pacific University

Kaiser University Seahawks

2003 Women’s Golf National Champions

2015 Women’s Golf National Champions

2016 Women’s Golf National Champions

Lynn University Fighting Knights

2009 Baseball Division 2 National Champions

1997 Women’s Golf Division 2 National Champions

2013 Women’s Golf Division 2 National Champions

2014 Women’s Golf Division 2 National Champions

2007 Men’s Tennis Division 2 National Champions

1997 Women’s Tennis Division 2 National Champions

1998 Women’s Tennis Division 2 National Champions

2001 Women’s Tennis Division 2 National Champions

Florida Marlins/Miami Marlins

1997 National League Champions over Atlanta Braves

1997 World Series Champions over Cleveland Indians

2003 National League Champions over Chicago Cubs

2003 World Series Champions over New York Yankees

Step #13

Miami is an EVENT city.  Turn the Panthers game into an EVENT!!!!!!! 41 Theme Nights!!!!!

This will sell out every home game for years.

41 Theme Nights

Art Contest

Jr. Panthers Dancers

41 Theme Nights

These will help transform Florida Panthers hockey games into AN EVENT!!!  The place where people must go, must be seen, and families want to attend to create family memories.

To keep everything Fresh and not stagnant the Theme night will rotate so everything is fun and new.

1-Opening Night

4-Family Pet Internet Contests

2-Social Media/Millenial Internet Contests

11-Charity Color Nights

6- Family Memory Nights

1-Teacher appreciation night

16-Costume Contest Nights

By having 41 different Theme’s that are diverse and switching them up throughout the regular season, the Florida Panthers games become an EVENT and have a unique FEEL and a unique EXCITEMENT for each and every home regular season game.  Following these theme nights will bring an energy and excitement the Panthers have never had.  The crowd will be more engaged, louder, more passionate, and wins will come much more often.  The BB&T Center will be fun for the fans, and that energy will fuel the Florida Panthers on the ice.  Very soon, the BB&T Center will be a terrifying place for opponents to visit.

Opening Night is a theme itself.  It symbolizes the hope and excitement of a new season, nothing else needs to be added to this.

Family Pet Internet Contest Nights bring the Florida Panthers and social media and families closer together.  Families submit pictures of their pets to the Florida Panthers who then display the pets on the jumbotron above the hockey game.  All game family pets are posted.  This will bring kids, individuals, and families closer to the Florida Panthers as during the game they are seeing their family pets displayed.  There will be 4 family pet nights.  1 Dog night for people to submit pictures of their dogs. 1 Cat night for people to submit pictures of their cats.  2 Nights for Family Pets where people can submit pictures of Dogs, Cats, Snakes, birds, lizards, fish, turtles, or any other pet they may have.

All night fans can vote on which pets they want to win prizes.  At the end of the night prizes and tickets to future games are awarded to winners.

Social Media/Milenial Internet Contest Nights will bring the Florida Panthers and social media closer together.  There will be 2 of these nights and Panthers fans can post on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Snapchat, Instagram, or any other social media website.  Fans can post at the game, from home, or even on vacation during the these two Panthers Home Games.  Then fans can vote online and prizes and tickets to future games can be given to winners of the contest in different social media categories.

Charity Color Game Nights are charities and colors.  There are 10 colors Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Light Blue, Dark/Royal Blue, Purple, White, Black, Pink, and Military.  On those nights, a specific color is worn by the fans in the crowd at the BB&T Center.  For example, on Military Night, every fan in the BB&T Center would wear Military colors to the game.  The entire crowd would be dressed in Military Colors for that specific home game.  The Florida Panthers organization would then pick a charity or a group of charities for that game.  On Military Night, it would make sense to choose charities that help Military Veterans.  The employees at the BB&T Center would collect donations, raffle off prizes and all profits would go to the charities chosen that night.  There would also be a link online for fans at the game or fans at home to donate to the specific charities.  The Florida Panthers would also sell shirts, hats, and Jerseys of that color in the shop.  So on Military Night they would have Military colored hats, shirts, and Jerseys.  On the ice, the Florida Panthers would still be wearing normal uniforms in code with NHL rules.  However, the building would have a unique energy and excitement for each color night.  Not only would people paint faces, have run outfits, bring towels and pom-pom’s in that color, but charities would be helped as well.  Each of the ten nights would bring a fun and new color to the BB&T Center, but also a feeling of hope as a charities are being helped as well.

Family Memory Nights are maybe the most important nights of the year.  In this world with so much going on, sometimes we forget what matters most, community and family.  There are 5 family memory nights.  Daddy Daughter Night, Mother Daughter Night, Mother Son Night, Father Son Night, and Parents Night.  These nights should be advertised the most and promoted genuinely.  This can get family members out of the house and create lasting memories.  Fans can also submit letter about how much they love their kids or parents and read on the Jumbotron.  These are very special nights.  Panthers players and employees can also come on the Jumbotron and read a message to loved one’s.

Teacher Appreciation Night is huge.  Teachers are the rocks of stability in the community and this night is as important as any other night.  Teachers should get 15% off tickets and students should be able to write in essays and get their teachers FREE TICKETS to Teacher Appreciation Night.  At some point in the game all the teachers should be asked to stand for audience applause.  Prizes and tickets to future games should be given to teachers as well.  Students can also write messages to teachers thanking them that will be read on the Jumbotron all night long.

Costume Contest Nights will turn the Florida Panthers from a hockey team to an EVENT!!!!  Each Costume Contest Night will have a specific theme and throughout the game the Florida Panthers video staff will find people in the crowd and put them on the Jumbotron so people can vote.  There should be at least 15 winners each Costume Contest night for prizes and tickets to future games.  If done correctly, this can revolutionize the experience at a Florida Panthers game from a simple hockey game to an event.  This allows the fans to feel a big part of the EXPERIENCE and the EVENT that is a Florida Panthers game.  It is not just the team on the ice, it is the experience of being a fan, winning prizes, dressing up, bringing a unique energy, supporting the team, and having fun as well.

Game 1-Opening Night

(enough adrenaline on its own)

Family Pet Night (prizes given out)

Game 4-Family Pet Night

Game 21-Cat Night

Game 33-Dog Night

Game 40-Family Pet Night 2

Social Media/Millennial Night

Game 8-Social Media/Millennial Night

Game 32-Social Media/Millennial Night 2

Charity Color Nights

Game 2-Orange

Game 6-Red

Game 10-Yellow

Game 14-Light Blue

Game 18-Dark/Royal Blue

Game 22-Green

Game 24-Military

Game 26-Purple

Game 30-White

Game 34-Black

Game 38-Pink

Family Memory Nights (create valuable family memories)

Game 11-Parents Night

Game 12-Mother Son(s) Night

Game 16-Father Son(s) Night

Game 20-Mother Daughter(s) Night

Game 28-Daddy Daughter(s) Night

Game 36-Grandparents Night

Teacher Appreciation Night (prizes for teachers)

Game 9-Teacher Appreciation Night

Dress Up/Costume Contest Nights (prizes for best costumes)

Game 3-Rock and Roll Night

Game 5-Halloween Costume Night

Game 7-Comic Book, Cartoon, and Video Game Character Night

Game 13-Pajama’s Night

Game 15-Television or Movie Character Night

Game 17-Roaring 20’s Night

Game 19-Crazy Hair/Crazy Hat Night

Game 23-007 James Bond Characters Night

Game 25-Dress Up As A Celebrity Night

Game 27-Steve Urkel Night

Game 29-Mardi Gras Night

Game 31-Dress Up As A Miami Sports Legend (Marino, D Wade, Pat Riley, etc.)

Game 35-60’s, 70’s and Hippies Night

Game 37-Make Up and Face Paint Night

Game 39-80’s Costumes and Big Hair Night

Game 41-Beach Attire Night

Art Contest

Art is a huge part of life and the South Florida Community.  If the Panthers want to be a part of the community they need to incorporate art and artists with the team.

The best way to do this is to have an Art Contest for every game.

Each game have an Art Contest and give out tickets and prizes for winners.

Winners for each age group


0-5 Zamboni Group

6-8 Overtime Group

9-10 Slap Shot Group

11-13 Penalty Kill Group

14-16 Breakaway Group

17-19 Shoot Out Group

20-29 High Sticking Group

30+ Power Play Group

80+ Cross Check Group


Attending Panthers Game, Hockey, Panthers logo, Favorite Panthers Player, Favorite Panthers Memory, South Florida, South Florida Beaches, anything inspiring, anything you would like to draw or paint

Throughout every single game, different art pictures will go on the jumbotron and fans can vote for the art they like.  At the end of every game, the winner of each age group gets a prize, free tickets to a future home game, and a picture with Stanley C. Panther and a few of the Panthers dance team.

These photos will be posted online at the end of every game.

This will create a memory for the artist for years to come.  Now artists will want to become involved with the Florida Panthers.  It will be fun for the fans to see as well.


create Jr. Panthers Dancers

The Florida Panthers Dancers need to create a Jr. Panthers Dance group with little girls.  The Florida Panthers dancers need to dance appropriate for a family environment and become role models for little girls.  They need to choreograph simple routines to do with little girls at EVERY PANTHERS game.  For many little girls, the Florida Panthers dance team will be much more interesting to them than the hockey game.  The Florida Panthers Dancers need to see themselves as role models in the community and an inspiration to little girls!

Step #14

Change Marketing

2 Marketing Changes

Marketing Change 1

Market Family

Daddy Daughter night.  Promote it.  Take down every billboard promoting hockey.  This is not Canada, Minnesota, New York, Boston, or Chicago.  This is Florida.  Yes, there are Panthers Fans and they are loyal and amazing, but Florida is about family first.  Promote that.

Take down all the you are entering Panthers Territory billboards and put up Daddy Daughter Night.

Pick a game any game and call it Daddy Daughter Night.  Give a discount to dad’s and daughters buying tickets.  During the game read letters from Dad’s and Daughters about how much they love and appreciate one another.

Take pictures and post them online.  Help people create a REAL MEMORY.

Florida is FAMILY FIRST!!!!!!

Florida will rally behind family over everything else.  Yes, there are beaches, the ocean, nearby islands, events, nightclubs, yachts, alligators, sharks, fancy cars, but none of that is more important to the people of Florida than FAMILY.

You want to connect to Florida and the Florida Community?  Put FAMILY FIRST!

Daddy Daughter Night.

Promote that.  Call the radio stations, advertise on TV, and make that what you advertise on the billboards.

Then have Father Son Night, Parents Night, Mother Daughter Night, and Mother Son Night.

If you do this right.  And you do this genuinely.  Then families will create meaningful memories and experiences at Florida Panthers games.  FAMILY FIRST.

There is a lot to do in Florida, but nothing is more important than Family.  If the Florida Panthers want to fit into Florida, then they need to be about FAMILY, promote family nights, and help Families in South Florida create meaningful memories on those family nights.

Marketing Change 2

Never ever ever ever ever EVER EVER MARKET HOCKEY AGAIN in Florida.  Market Family.  Market Community.  If you win hockey games while Marketing and Supporting Family and Community then the Florida Panthers will sell out every single home game every single year.

People will always choose FAMILY memories over hockey.  Make Panthers games a place where families can share deep, intimate, and genuine FAMILY MEMORIES and you will never have an empty seat in the BB&T Center ever again.

Step #15

Promote the Owners.  They embody loyalty, family, and working hard to succeed in life!  Perfect mindset for a relentlessly hardworking DEFENSIVE hockey team!

Both owners of the Florida Panthers have a tremendous work ethic that will relate well to fans and players within the organization.

Vinnie Viola

Vinnie Viola is the owner of the Florida Panthers and he embodies so much of what parents want to teach their children.  He is a loyal guy who puts family and long time friends first in his life.  He has outworked everyone to get where he has gotten.  He is smart, innovative, loyal, goal oriented, family first, and a hard worker at the core.  He is driven to succeed.  He is also a West Point Graduate and was part of the 101st Airborne Group (look up).  The 101st Airborne is a division so tough in the military (failure rate.)

Vinnie then went on to found Vitru Financial and succeed there.  He then went into horse racing and won the Kentucky Derby.  Vinnie Viola is a hard working winner.  He will win the Stanley Cup as the owner of the Florida Panthers.  His story and tenacity will help the Florida Panthers players.  The players and the coaches will see that hard nosed work ethic and drive and they will dig deep and find a higher level of work ethic than they ever thought possible.  Fans can use Vinnie as inspiration and a role model for their own kids.  A guy who grew up and worked hard.  Got into West Point, served in the military and then through loyalty and hard work became a winner and a success.

Doug Cifu

Doug Cifu is also the owner of the Florida Panthers and embodies the characteristics that parents want kids to have.  He worked hard in high school to get good grades and get into a good college.  He worked hard in college to get into a good law school.  He worked hard in law school to get hired by a good law firm.  At his law firm he worked hard to succeed.  Then he met Vinnie Viola and they started a company and they succeeded by working hard.  Now he and Vinnie Viola are working hard to win a Stanley Cup as owners of the Florida Panthers.  They will accomplish this goal.

Doug’s story of working hard can be inspiring to every parent and every child in South Florida.  Putting your head down and working hard every step of the way is what makes winners in life.  Doug’s story will be inspiring to many parents as a role model for their kids on how to achieve their goals in life.

In terms of the players on the Florida Panthers, Doug Cifu’s work ethic is the exact model for how the team is going to win the Stanley Cup.

Vinnie Viola and Doug Cifu

The Stanley Cup is never won by the best team.  It is won by the hardest working team.  Ask Gretzky, ask any Stanley Cup Champion.  The first thing all of them say is how hard they had to work AS A TEAM.  For years, Vinnie and Doug worked hard as individuals to achieve career goals.  Then together with hard work they took both of their careers to the next level with Virtu Financial.  Then together as a team they bought the Florida Panthers.  As a team, with the players, coaches, staff, employees, and state of Florida.  The hard work of Vinnie and Doug will translate to the hardest working franchise in the NHL both on and off the ice.  That drive that Vinnie and Doug have will leak onto the ice and the Panthers will become the hardest working team in South Florida.  Not just on the ice, but off the ice parents and kids will put more hard work into their own careers.  More Florida kids will graduate high school, graduate college, graduate medical school, graduate law school and achieve their dreams.  Hard work is the key to everything in life.  Vinnie Viola and Doug Cifu are living proof of that message.

Step #16

Defensive Report Cards after every game, similar to Pat Riley with the Heat

Pat Riley has won 5 Eastern Conference Championships and 3 NBA Championships while being a member of the Miami Heat organization.  One of the things he does best is give report cards to players on performance.

If the Florida Panthers are going to win Stanley Cups, they need to issue a DEFENSIVE report card to every player each game.  The scoring system is listed above.

Even after a win, there are still ways to improve.  If the Florida Panthers want to be a Stanley Cup Winning Team, they need to be the best DEFENSIVE team in the NHL.

They don’t have Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, or Auston Matthews.

The 1996 Panthers didn’t have Lindross or LeClaire they still beat the Flyers with DEFENSE.

The 1996 Panthers didn’t have Lemieux or Jagr they still beat the Penguins with DEFENSE.

This DEFENSIVE responsibility and tenacity has to be practiced and preached all year.  If it is, no one will ever want to play the Panthers in the regular season or the playoffs ever again.

Step #17

1996 Relentless Playoff Defense Won The Eastern Conference Championship!

Doing one thing, Doing it well.  Repeating it.


1996 Panthers Eastern Conference Champions Playoff Series

vs Penguins

Lemeuix and Jagr

0 goals in 4 games they lost

vs Flyers


1 goal in 4 games Flyers lost


1 goal in 4 games Flyers lost

vs Bruins

Oates and Bourque

0 goals 4 games Florida Panthers won

Step #18

Realize Defense can Win Modern Playoff Games

Florida Panthers committed to Defense in 1996 to win the East, in 2013 the Bruins committed to Defense to win the East

2013 Penguins

First 2 playoff rounds

Malkin and Crosby

33 points

82 game regular season

If healthy, Malkin and Crosby would have combined for 258 points

4 games vs Bruins

0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points

Committing to Defense wins the East in 2013, Some things never change.

Committing to Defense can win in the modern NHL as well.

Step #19

Own It, be un-apologetic. Let EVERYONE know the Florida Panthers are fully committed to relentless DEFENSIVE intensity every single shift of every single game!

This is going to be the hardest working, most relentless DEFENSE in the NHL.

The DEFENSIVE intensity will be relentless every time the Panthers hit the ice!

Every shift, every game, every year.

Everyone in the organization on and off the ice commits to being the hardest working DEFENSE in the NHL.

The fans commit to supporting the hardest working DEFENSIVE team in the NHL.

If the Florida Panthers game in and game out are the hardest working DEFENSE in the NHL.  Victories will follow.

Step #20

Messages Painted around BB&T Center, Practice Facility, and on Fans Shirts given out or for sale at stores or on the Team Website.

Now teach Panthers fans Florida Panthers Championship culture


“we back check you off the score sheet”



“our Goalie’s highlights, are preventing yours”

(goalie save graphic)

Stanley Cup Winning Defensive Intensity

our defense wears you down

Panthers defense, we wear you down

Panthers Hockey-we outwork EVERYONE!


no hockey player wants to come to Florida and face the Panthers DEFENSE and our fans!

they can’t win if WE don’t let them score

Florida Panthers Championship hockey—we love to outwork you defensively

scratch, claw, and out work your opponent to victory

our defense is always relentless

Florida Panthers defense is always relentless

relentless defense

no one wants to face the Florida Panthers DEFENSE

Florida Panthers Hockey- outworking our opponent is just what we do



Step #21

New Identity of the Florida Panthers-explained to analytical number experts.

The Stanley Cup is won by an injured, exhausted, physically battered, emotionally drained hockey team on the verge of physical collapse.






Track number of shots, quality shots, and scoring chances of opposing teams.

Scout, draft, and trade for fast skaters that can minimize those three categories of opposing teams.

Limit or Eliminate shots, quality shots, and scoring chances of opposing players.

Track each Panthers player ability to eliminate scoring risk of opposing players.

Less defensive risk, less goals given up, more wins.  Win the Cup!

This is how the Panthers can win in the margins over opposing teams.  Modern sports is all about winning in the margins.

Nick Saban focuses on the process of what it takes to be good in football and it works.  The Florida Panthers need to focus on the analytical stats of players that can DEFENSIVELY limit the shots and quality scoring chances of their opponents.

If all 18 skaters for the Florida Panthers focus on being relentless DEFENSIVELY and limiting shots and quality scoring chances of their opponents all game long, it will be very hard to score on this hockey team.  The less other teams get quality shots, the less other teams will score on the Panthers, the more games the Panthers will win!

But like Nick Saban says, the coaches of Alabama football try to make sure each player is playing to the best of their ability on every play, and if that happens, Nick Saban believes the results will take care of themselves.  With this fast skating roster, if the Florida Panthers players commit to DEFENSIVE intensity limiting shots and scoring chances of the opponents on every shift, if each Florida Panther player plays with that DEFENSIVE intensity and commitment, the results will take care of themselves.  The analytics numbers should add up nicely.  The less shots and quality scoring chances the opponent gets on each shift, each period, each game---then that should add up to less total goals for opponents each game.  That should add up to more Florida Panthers wins.

Florida Panthers analytics

each shift

limit shots

limit quality shots

limit quality scoring chances

at the end of the game the opponent should score less goals

this should lead to more victories for the Florida Panthers

Step #22

Learn from BAMA Football Culture (10 years of Dominance)  The young Panthers team if they commit to relentless DEFENSIVE commitment can win multiple Championships!

With this young roster, great ownership, a great general Manager, a great young head coach, an awesome staff and organization, the Florida Panthers can DEFENSIVELY dominate the NHL to win Stanley Cup Championships for a decade and dominate just like Alabama football.

Ten years in a row the Alabama Crimson Tide are a force to be reckoned with in every sense of the word.  Take a trip to Tuscaloosa during football season and notice how many stores that have nothing to do with sports have stickers, flags, or some tribute to the football program.  Look at car stickers, license plates, and car flags showing pride in Alabama.  Even at Bed, Bath, and Beyond are stickers in the windows and entire sections of BAMA gear.  Little old ladies will walk up to you and kindly say “Roll Tide”.  The stadium is over 100,00 fans and they are engaged from beginning to end.  The intensity and emotions are so strong you can physically feel them.

This program is dominant with Nick Saban, but they have a history of dominating and the fan base fuels the fire and intensity of the University and the football team.  Alabama Crimson Tide Football isn’t just a sport, it is a way of life.  A representation of the area and pride deeper than words can describe.

There is a reason a super star like Julio Jones who might have been a record setting wide receiver in the Pac 12, chose to go to BAMA and win a National Championship.  There is something deep and powerful there.

Alabama won their first National Championship in 1925 and continues to dominate NCAA Football today.  During the Hurricane season, we evacuated South Florida and went to Tuscaloosa.  I wanted to see what Alabama Crimson Tide Football was all about.

You cannot describe it with words.  It flows through the veins of many of the fans.  The intensity Nick Saban brings to every single element of the program is incredible.  BAMA can win a game completely blowing out the opponent, and Nick Saban is furious.

It isn’t an act either.  Nick Saban is not concerned with the score or victory.  Nick Saban is concerned with the process of each individual player making sure that they are playing to the best of their ability on every single play.

If a starter gets injured, the back up is supposed to come right in and not miss a beat.

Nick Saban believes if each player does their job to the best of their ability on every play, then the results will take care of themselves.  Game after game, year after year, National Championship after National Championship his method is proven correct.

If the Florida Panthers are going to win the cup year after year and become a modern Dynasty.  Then the Florida Panthers need to focus on the process DEFENSIVELY.  Regardless of the score, the Panthers need to evaluate each and every shift with the same intensity Nick Saban evaluates each snap.  When the Panthers do that, they will be a very tough team to play.  Nick Saban when he was hired at Alabama said he wants Alabama to be the type of team that plays so hard everyone hates to play them.  When the Florida Panthers play so hard DEFENSIVELY that every NHL team hates to play them, then they will win Stanley Cup after Stanley Cup the same way Nick Saban wins National Championship after National Championship.

That commitment to being DEFENSIVELY RELENTLESS every shift, all year.  That is the next mental and physical level for this hockey organization.

Step #23

Children’s Hospital Charity

Every time the Florida Panthers score a goal, money should be donated to children’s hospitals.  EVERY SINGLE TIME.  This should happen all over the NHL, but it should start with the Florida Panthers.  Corporate sponsors, individual pledges, even little kids can put pennies in a jar watching games with family and then donate it.

This could partner up and become the biggest Children’s Hospital Charity ever created and help more children, families, and communities than ever before!!!!!

Step #24

You show as an organization that you Support Family, Hard Work, and Loyalty to the Florida Community---Florida fans will support you with an incredible passion!

Florida is big on Family, Hard Work, and Loyalty.  On the surface it seems like everyone has a fancy car, a yacht, and spends all day at the beach.  The truth is that most people in Florida are incredibly hard working, while being extremely loyal to family and friends.

If you are a true Florida sports fan or a true Miami sports fan, you know that Loyalty to your sports team is more emotional than just a sports team.  Many families watch teams together or go to games together.  Fathers, Mothers, Sons, Daughters, Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents all attend or watch games together.

People work hard for their money, and they expect the Florida team they root for to work even harder.  They expect the team to be an example of passion, discipline, and Florida work ethic.

If you win and your organization shows loyalty to Florida, Florida fans will live and die with the team.  They will fill the stadiums and arenas and they will be loud, passionate, and supportive.  But they need to see the same passion and dedication from the Owners, Coaches, Players and organization.

If as an organization, you put everything into working hard and winning as a family on the court, on the ice, on the field, or on the diamond, then Florida fans will bring a passion and intensity that is a nightmare for any visiting opponent.

To succeed as a sports team in Florida, you need the FUEL of the Florida fans.  You get that as a sports team by being team first, winning first, family first, community first, loyalty first, and by outworking every opponent every time.

If you do that, the Florida fans will be relentless and fill every seat and make every home game a huge advantage.

Step #25

Embrace Miami, South Florida, and Florida as an Incredible Sports Market

You don’t Win 5 National Championships and 58 straight home games without incredible fans.

You don’t Win 5 Eastern Conference Championships and 3 NBA Championships without incredible fans.

You don’t Win 5 AFC Championships and 2 Super Bowls without incredible fans.

You don’t Win 2 World Series Championships without incredible fans.

You don’t Win an Eastern Conference Championship in the NHL without incredible fans.

South Florida is the best place for an NHL team to play with relentless DEFENSIVE intensity and win many Stanley Cups!

Let the fans know you realize how special they are and how important the momentum and fuel from the Florida fans can be to Winning the Cup year after year!

Step #26

Attendance is actually good.

Considering that the team has not been outside of the first round since 1996, the attendance numbers are actually very good!  Imagine if this team was a top 5 NHL team and a serious contender to win the Stanley Cup every year.  Every game would sell out and the Florida fans would create an incredible home ice advantage for the Panthers!

Being in South Florida, if the team just wins more, changes marketing, adds theme nights, the games will get loud and passionate fans.

-Compare Panthers to Blackhawks

15, 384 per game 630,746 season 24th in NHL in 2016

22, 859 per game 896, 240 season, 1st in NHL in 2016

14, 620 per game 599, 447 season, 26th in NHL in 2017

21, 751 per game 891, 827 season, 1st in NHL in 2017

-Compare Panthers to Lightning (Florida comparison)

Florida, in-state rival comparison, Tampa Florida

19, 092 2017 8th in NHL

782,772 2017 8th in NHL

(same number for 2016, 7th in NHL attendance)

-Compare Panthers to Heat (Miami metropolitan comparison)

Same market, Miami Florida metropolitan area, same 41 regular season home game schedule

19, 643 2017 (7th in NBA)


If the BB&T Center capacity 19,250.

Both the Miami Heat and Tampa Bay Lightning have comparable averages.  This is an extremely realistic goal to hit capacity as the SEASON AVERAGE.  Especially if the team starts winning, the South Florida market easily has enough fans to fill the BB&T Center to capacity every single game 41 times a year, plus playoff games.

A few positive changes and this hockey team will EASILY sell out hockey games.  The BB&T Center is a great arena and South Florida is the perfect market for an NHL hockey team.  Very soon this will be considered one of the best home advantages in all of sports.

Step #27

Change the System, Change the Focus, Keep the Incredible Staff and Roster that has been put together

This is an incredible team with many great skaters both on the active NHL roster and in the system.  If you saw any of the Florida Panthers prospects in the summer you would realize Dale Tallon and the staff of the Florida Panthers have done an incredible job setting up the future of this franchise.  They can skate, they are fast, they are talented.  If Bob Boughner can instill relentless DEFENSIVE intensity, relentless DEFENSIVE tenacity, relentless DEFENSIVE commitment each shift of each game this team will be an absolute nightmare to compete against.

I know they probably have a system, but watch the highlights of scrimmages in the summer and highlights of games.  They focus so much on offensive transition and puck possession that they move the puck very well, get shots and score goals (they currently have 3 players in the top 25 in points in the NHL).  However, this focus on offense is killing their defensive commitment and the record.

If this team abandons their current system, and goes to a simply man to man defensive focused system and finds who on the roster NHL and AHL can limit opponents shots, this team would win game after game.

It would take a transition period, the Ownership group would have to give time to Coach Boughner to implement a much more DEFENSIVE focused system.  The team should fully commit to DEFENSE and realize that having more relentless DEFENSIVE intensity than any other NHL team would very quickly translate to long-term success.

If they do this, they might not win the cup this year or even make the playoffs.  But by next season they’d be a top five team and they’d win a cup for sure within the next three years if they fully committed to relentless DEFENSIVE intensity and being the most aggressive and most relentless, hardest working DEFENSIVE team in the NHL.

Step #28

Brightest NHL outlook.  Most athletes hit their prime athletic success at ages 26-30. (Young team.)

Check out the age of the Florida Panthers players.  This team is very, very young.  I am not saying that all of these players should be kept.  I am not saying all these players should be traded.  I am saying that Dale Tallon has done a fantastic job stacking the NHL team, the AHL team, and the prospect pool with outstanding skaters.  If you saw the prospects over the summer and think otherwise you probably have not watched much hockey in your life.  This prospect pool is incredible.  They are amazing skaters.  But the system the Panthers use is wrong.  The marketing hasn’t pierced deeply into the South Florida community.  Yes, there are Panthers fans and there are sold out games and great crowds, but it could be so much more.  Imagine the BB&T Center if the Panthers won the Stanley Cup and went deep into the playoffs every year.  The BB&T Center would start to feel as intimidating for opponents as Tuscaloosa is to college football opponents visiting Alabama.

These Owners, this General Manager, this young Head Coach, this deep pool of talented players…..If you get South Florida excited the momentum and energy would be a force unto itself.  Just watch the Miami Hurricanes vs Notre Dame Irish game in Hard Rock Stadium in November of 2017.  That electricity from those Miami fans who live in South Florida absolutely ignited the Miami Hurricanes to their biggest victory in over a decade.  The Florida Panthers could have the exact same intensity at the BB&T Center.  They have a young team.  They have a solid organization.  If everyone in the Florida Panthers organization gets on the same page nothing will stop this hockey team.

Doug Cifu said in an interview with chatwithtraders.com, that he and Vinnie Viola love a flat platform with no titles where ideas can flow freely and everyone can get on the same page.  This hockey organization is so close to being a massive success.

Google Dolphins History.  Google Miami Hurricanes History.  Google Miami Heat History.  Google Miami Marlins History.  Google Florida Panthers History.

When the Miami team is a hard working underdog team with a focus on Defense they are very, very hard to defeat.  The national reputation might be flashy or cocky.  The reality is that the hard working teams that play as a team, focus on DEFENSE, and limit mistakes win in Miami.

The 2016 Panthers when they won 12 straight games, they got outshot, but they limited mistakes and opponents goals.  Google the scores.  They allowed only 15 goals in those 12 games they won!  That is an average of allowing only 1.25 GOALS PER GAME!!!!!  Is it any shock that the team allowing only 1.25 goals per game won 12 straight games.  That should be pretty evident that the DEFENSE was the key to victory and the winning streak.  DEFENSE was what created the winning streak.

Then take the 2016 Playoffs.  The two games the Florida Panthers won they allowed only 1 goal in both of those games.  In the four games they lost, the Panthers allowed 13 goals!

Analytics 2016 Florida Panthers

During 12 Game winning Streak

Panthers DEFENSE allows only 1.25 goals per game

Result 12-0

Playoff Games 2 and 4

Panthers DEFENSE allows only 1 goal per game

Result won both Playoff games

Games 1, 3, 5, and 6

Panthers DEFENSE allows 13 goals in 4 games

Panthers DEFENSE is averaging 3.25 goals per game

Result, 4 games Islanders score 13 total goals Islanders Win

2 Games Panthers Won, Panthers DEFENSE allows 1 goal per game

4 Games Panthers lost, Panthers defense allows 3.25 goals per game

In the 4 playoff losses, the Panthers defense allowed 2.25 more goals than when the Panthers won.

The proof is there again and again and again and again.  To win in South Florida you need DEFENSE.  A relentless commitment to relentless DEFENSIVE intensity and relentless DEFENSIVE commitment and success follows.

The Florida Panthers have everything in place.  The 31 steps I outline would transform this franchise into the best DEFENSIVE team in the NHL, the most DEFENSIVELY relentless, the most DEFENSIVELY committed, and the most DEFENSIVELY intense team in the NHL.  That combined with the leadership qualities and resources that Vinnie Viola and Doug Cifu can bring to the organization.  The deep pool of talent Dale Tallon has drafted.  The skills of future super star NHL coach Bob Boughner.  All of this gives the Florida Panthers the brightest future in the NHL and it is not even close.

They tasted it in 2016.  That was just the tip of the iceberg of success for this hockey franchise.  The Florida Panthers with their skating speed and ability, when they commit to being relentless DEFENSIVELY and removing quality shots and quality scoring chances of opponents each and every shift, will start to create winning streaks similar to the 2013 Miami Heat, the 2016 Panthers, and the Hurricanes from 1986-1994.

This franchise is young, hungry, and very close to DEFENSIVE dominance in the NHL for years and years creating a relentlessly DEFENSIVE culture that wins Stanley Cup after Stanley Cup.

This is very clear, if this organization commits to being the most relentless DEFENSIVE team in the NHL, the Florida Panthers will have the brightest future in professional hockey.

Step #29

Animal Assisted Therapy Center/Community Center

When the Florida Panthers make these changes dominate the NHL with relentless DEFENSIVE intensity the team will make a lot of money.  With some of this money and other corporate sponsors the Florida Panthers Organization will break ground on an Animal Assisted Therapy Center/Community Center that will improve the lives of children and families living in South Florida!

The community center will offer:

a sanctuary for animals

animal assisted therapy to overcome depression, anxiety, addiction, etc.

also offered:

kids yoga

adult yoga

family empowerment classes

healthy cooking classes for adults with children

diets and meal plans for kids and adults

financial advise for families

animal therapy

conflict resolution

pilates for adults

pilates for kids

computer coding classes for kids

math and science tutoring

after school tutoring

youth leadership classes

celebrity speakers for kids and adults

In the summer, families from Jacksonville, Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala, Tallahassee, Key West, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Pensacola and other parts of Florida will be bussed in for week long family workshops.  Corporate sponsors from around the state will pay for the travel and hotel expenses.  At the facility all week there will be classes for kids, adults, and families on community leadership, financial planning, yoga and exercise classes and much more.  Families from all over Florida will be bussed in and stay in a hotel and have all expenses paid.  They can then return to their communities with valuable tools to help improve the lives of those in Florida Communities all over the State of Florida.  The team is called the Florida Panthers.  This community center will help people all over the entire state.

There will also be college internships and college credit given.  The community center will partner with every College and University in the state of Florida and create a pipeline for kids and adults to live more successful lives.

The other professional sports teams in the state of Florida will partner.  Major corporations and celebrities can get involved as well.

For college students and entrepreneurs there will be an incubator program to help start up businesses get off the ground.

This is going to massively improve the lives of people in the State of Florida.

Other cities and states across the country will see how successful this is and create their own program.

I have the perfect person to run the community center and make sure it benefits the people of South Florida!  I will not list her name for privacy reasons.  Her resume is fantastic and she does not not need to be overwhelmed with excessive emails.

The Florida Panthers can contact me about her if they would like to set up a meeting to make this community center a reality.

Step #30 and #31

These are the two best ideas and concepts.

I want to keep these a secret, if the Panthers organization contacts me directly I can present them.