Apr 12, 2014; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo (1) makes a save on a shot by Columbus Blue Jackets center Derek MacKenzie (24) as defenseman Erik Gudbranson (44) defends the net and center Brandon Pirri (73) clears the puck in the first period at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

NHL News and Links - Quick Shifts: August 5th Edition

NHL Quick Shifts is a daily series where we gather up the latest NHL news and links from the FanSided NHL blogosphere, as well as other NHL / hockey blogs. So with that, here is today’s edition of Quick Shifts!

  • Are the Florida Panthers playoff contenders in 2014-15? – The Florida Panthers last made the NHL postseason in 2012, their first appearance in 12 years. On paper, it appears that the Panthers are gearing up for another run at the playoffs in 2015. Florida was one of the more active teams during the free agent frenzy, this coming after the trade for Roberto Luongo and selecting elite defensive prospect Aaron Ekblad first overall at the 2014 NHL Draft. Backing up Luongo is Al Montoya, a definite upgrade from the Dan Ellis / Scott Clemmensen tandem from last season. Adding a veteran presence to a young blue line is Willie Mitchell, acquired from the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. The Panthers may not be Cup contenders this season, but they can be considered a dark horse to make a playoff run in 2014-15. [TMMOTS]
  • Should hockey have a summer league? – As the calendar flips from July to August, we enter the deepest portion of the NHL offseason; one in which the insiders turn off their cell phones and retire to the cabin, players are off the grid, and the majority of the big free agents have signed to new teams or extensions. Wouldn’t it be great if the NHL borrowed an idea from the NBA and held its own summer league tournament?  A one or two week tournament held after prospect camps are done would be entertaining to hardcore hockey fans, as well as beneficial to the teams and players taking part in the games. [FanSided]
  • Craziest stats in NHL history – Andreas Matsoukas has a list of some of the craziest NHL stats in history, records so incredible, it is nearly impossible that any player may ever come close to breaking them. [TMMOTS]
  • Reddit survey shows the most hated NHL teams in the United States – Here is an interesting breakdown of the most hated teams in each state in the continental US. [FanSided]


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