6 most important decisions that led to a Stanley Cup for the Florida Panthers

It took a long time for the Florida Panthers to build their Stanley Cup championship team. These are the six most important moves.
Florida Panthers v Montreal Canadiens
Florida Panthers v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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Landing Sam Reinhart was an underground incredible move for Florida

The funny thing about selecting Aaron Ekblad first overall in 2014 is who came after him. With pick number two, the Buffalo Sabres took Sam Reinhart.

A few years later, after a bumpy start with a questionable Sabres organization, Reinhart was traded to the Florida Panthers.

Buffalo got a first-round pick and Devon Levi out of it which is nice for them but the Panthers landed a future 50-goal man. He had 20+ in every year with the Sabres except one and 30+ in every year with the Panthers but nobody had a 50-goal year for him on their radar.

He did that in 2023-24 before winning the Stanley Cup. He even came close to scoring 60 as he had 57 on the year. Add in his 37 assists and you have a 94-point player.

When it is time to win, intelligent teams go out and get good players to supplement the young cores that they have built. Florida did that when they made a risky trade for Sam Reinhart and it worked out very well for them. He now has a Stanley Cup-winning goal on his resume.