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Fantasy Puck Previews: Florida Panthers

Scott Cullen
9/6/2010 12:02:52 PM
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There has been quite a bit of upheaval on the Florida Panthers' roster, which does give them some sleeper value selections, but the Panthers most definitely lack elite fantasy prospects.

Even goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who puts up a first-rate save percentage (.925 over the last two years combined), has won only 49 games in the last two seasons because of his limited supporting cast. He's a good No. 2 goaltender for fantasy, but risky as the starter.

Working out from the net, the Panthers do have a couple of decent defencemen. Bryan McCabe isn't an offensive force the way he was at his peak, but last year's 43 points tied him for 17th among defencemen.

Dennis Wideman endured a difficult season in Boston, a veritable collapse from his career year in 2008-2009, but rebounded to lead the Bruins in playoff scoring. Wideman should see lots of ice time, so there will be opportunities to be productive, yet also opportunities to fall on the minus side of the plus-minus ledger if things aren't going well.

The Panthers do have some wingers with good upside. Left winger David Booth could be Florida's most dangerous offensive threat, but concussions ruined his 2009-2010 season, so there is an element of risk in selecting him. There aren't a lot of potential 30-goal scorers on left wing, however, so Booth deserves fair consideration.

Third-year winger Michael Frolik has a finisher's flair as well, scoring 21 goals in each of his first two seasons but, given his talent, 30 isn't out of the question.

Stephen Weiss is a sound, reliable two-way pivot who scored a career-high 28 goals last season and has put up at least 60 points in back-to-back years, but with a supporting cast that is longer on potential than proven producers, it's difficult to expect more from Weiss.

There is further potential from rookie winger Michael Grabner, or veterans Cory Stillman and Christopher Higgins could recapture some of their productive past, but they are selections for those in deep leagues only.



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