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EP Rinkside mailbag: Where does this Lightning team rank?

We are mere days away from the start of the Conference Final rounds, and there’s already one team that’s definitely in. Again. We’ll get to those guys in a bit, but let’s start with the team they obliterated and go from there.

Let’s get to it:

David asks: “To what degree should the Panthers run it back next year?”

I said in my “Where do they go from here” article that the Florida Panthers don't really have any any choice other than to run it back because they have nearly their entire top-six and top-four, plus both goalies under contract for next season. This is good because this is an excellent team that had a goofy result against the reigning, defending tanley Cup winners twice over.

That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try to make changes. If they can get out from under the Sergei Bobrovski contract, they should do so by all means. But if the biggest question mark is, “Do we bring back our interim coach who is a finalist for the Jack Adams and just won the Presidents’ Trophy?” I think the answer is obvious.

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This article is about:
NHL Florida Panthers New Jersey Devils Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Jakob Chychrun Claude Giroux Nazem Kadri Tom Fitzgerald
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