Panthers Owner Vincent Viola admitted he’s already exhausted every mainstream typical excuse: “injuries, coaching changes, tough division, inexperience, off-the-ice drama, you name it.” It was clear to the half-dozen or so Panther fans in attendance that Viola wanted to provide an inventive new way to deflect any responsibility for the failures and deceive Florida fans for one more season this time around.
It’s all been down-hill for the Panthers since they made it to the Stanley Cup Final in 1996 as a 3rd year franchise. Since then, they have been mired by ill-advised coaching hires, terrible draft picks and continuous questions about why the state of Florida needs two professional hockey teams.
The downward spiral started in 2002, when they selected Petr Taticek with their first round pick. Luckily for Taticek, he was only forced to play three games in a Panthers sweater, narrowly escaping the decade of despair that was to come.
Longtime hockey analyst, Barry Melrose weighed in, “No one knows what the heck is going over there. The Panthers have some serious organizational flaws and it starts from the top, down—none of those guys even have mullets.”
It’s hard to pin-point exactly what the issue has been over the last several years, but Viola offered this, “The objective of the game is to score goals, right? Our guys are no good at that. Skating? No thank you. Blocking shots? Forget it. The guys we have on the roster are slow, uninspired creatures. In fact, there are not real like Panthers in any way.”
But finally, as years of ineptitude, Viola provided an explanation Panthers fans had never heard before:
“After taking another objective look at the data I’ve narrowed down our reason for not qualifying for the Stanley Cup Finals once in the last 23 years…
“We’re just bad at Hockey.”