Panthers poised to surprise in 2013-14 

October, 4, 2013

ThomasRonald Martinez/Getty ImagesThe Panthers signed former Vezina-winning goalie Tim Thomas to a 1-year deal this offseason.
With each veteran Dale Tallon invited to camp and then signed, the notion that this unique strategy could lead to an interesting season in South Florida started to grow. It was a game plan by the Panthers' general manager that grew out of necessity, aided by the unique circumstance created by the salary cap falling for the first time in its NHL history.

The whims of the salary cap seem to impact the Panthers as much as any team. In 2011, it was the salary cap floor that forced Tallon to go on a spending spree that ultimately propelled the Panthers into a surprising playoff berth in which they nearly knocked out the eventual Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Devils.