It was a fitting end to the year for the Carolina Panthers as the season ended.
After a fantastic year in 2017, the franchise finished the season with the worst record in franchise history.
With the end of the regular season looming, the team’s front office made several moves to get the franchise back on track.
The team also brought back former head coach Ron Rivera and the team hired head coach Greg Schiano to help rebuild the franchise.
With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to see if there’s any similarities between the Panthers and their predecessor, the Carolina Hurricanes.
As I was writing this article, I was thinking about the Panthers in the context of a certain season from the last time they won the Stanley Cup.
It’s an incredible achievement, but the Panthers didn’t win the Cup in ’12, they did it in ’15.
The season prior to that was the team that went on to win the Stanley Cups in 2008 and ’09, when they were also in the postseason.
Carolina won that championship with a roster that included Ryan Getzlaf, Cam Fowler, and Nick Foligno.
In ’15, they were one of the most dangerous teams in the league and one of just three teams in NHL history to win back-to-back Stanley Cups.
With this season, they have a young core that’s developing into one of our top teams in hockey, and they’ll look to build on that success.
However, with the departure of head coach Mike Johnston, and the departure in February of head of player personnel Brian Elliott, the Panthers will need to find a way to win without him.
A year ago, I think the Panthers could have made the playoffs, and it would have been a huge accomplishment.
Now, with Elliott leaving, the future is a lot more uncertain.
This season will determine whether the Panthers can keep their championship aspirations alive, or if they can just sit back and wait for the next season to be over.