Last year's Presidents' Trophy winners the Florida Panthers are perhaps the biggest disappointment at the halfway point of the 2022-23 NHL season. The Panthers traded for Matthew Tkachuk and hired Paul Maurice as head coach but sit outside the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Can I offer another team that should be considered a disappointment? The Florida Panthers, the team that did very well last year-- here's the thing. Very mid. Very mid. They were-- look, they were the Presidents' Trophy-winning team last year. I understand they lost Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar in that big trade. But they ended up getting one of the better goal-line scorers in Matthew Tkachuk. Paul Maurice, who we all thought was probably never going to coach again, gets out of retirement and goes to coach in Florida. And, look, we're giving a lot of praise to the Buffalo Sabres and how they're close. They're level on points right now.
OMAR: I'm gonna have to stop right there, my man.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: They're dis-- they're a bit of a disappointment.
OMAR: I'm gonna have to stop you right there.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: And to your point-- and to your point about the Edmonton Oilers-- about not being-- them not worth risking trading away that first-round pick, especially in the draft class that could be as good as the 2015 year. At least the Oilers still have it. The Panthers don't. They do not have it. And you know why they don't have the first-round pick? Oh, they traded-- they traded it for Ben Chiarot.
OMAR: Julian, I'm gonna have to stop right there, my man.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: They traded it for Ben Chiarot.
OMAR: The topic was, what team has been the most disappointing?
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Biggest disappointment.
OMAR: I'm about to tell you, player. When they hired Paul Maurice, I knew they weren't going anywhere.
SAM CHANG: That was wild.
OMAR: I knew they weren't going anywhere.
SAM CHANG: That was wild.
OMAR: As soon as they announced that, I was like, right off--
JULIAN MCKENZIE: You thought they [INAUDIBLE].
OMAR: --right off-- give Montreal their top-10 pick. Give Montreal their top-10 pick-- right off. I knew they weren't going anywhere because everything-- everything else you said-- you're 100% right. But as soon as they gave that man, Paul Maurice, that job-- because, listen, because, like, everything that made Florida good last year is gone, not just in player personnel-- in style.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Yeah.
OMAR: They were a dynamic offensive wave, line after line after line after line was attack and attack. And that's not Paul Maurice's system. They gave the wrong man the keys to the wrong car. They should have kept the dude from last year. But, instead, they let him go. They let him go, and they gave it to Paul Maurice. As soon as that happened, I'm like, there's no way they're gonna be anywhere as good. So, no, for me, not disappointing at all. I knew. I-- yep.