Florida Panthers: Doug MacLean
The Florida Panthers are a franchise that has been devoid of success since its inception. But there was point when the Panthers were the talk of the league, and that was when they were led by Doug Maclean.
The Panthers best season was far and away in in 1995-96. The Panthers came to Florida as an expansion franchise in 1993, actually putting together the the best season an expansion franchise has ever put together, at least until the Golden Knights came along this year, but missed the playoffs by just one point. The next season devolved by 37 points to finish with 46 and finished well out of the playoffs.
In Florida’s third season, they hired Doug Maclean in hopes of turning things around, and boy did things ever change. The Panther put together a 93 point season and finished third in the Atlantic division for their first playoff appearance in franchise history. The upstart Florida Panthers were given little chance to make a deep run in the postseason, but they defied all expectations.
In the first round, Florida ran through the Boston Bruins in five games to establish themselves as possible contenders. In round two, the Panthers took care of the Philadelphia Flyers in six games, then survived a seven game battle with the Pittsburgh Penguins to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. In the Finals however, the magic was over. The newly relocated Colorado Avalanche swept the Panthers with a triple overtime win in Game 4.
Ever since in 1996, the Panthers have failed to advance past the first round of the playoffs. They’ve made the playoffs only four times, most recently in 2016 when the Islanders ended their playoff drought with a six game win.