NHL.com is providing in-depth analysis for each of its 31 teams from Nov. 16-Dec. 16. Today, three important questions facing the Florida Panthers.[Panthers 31 IN 31: Season preview | Top prospects | Behind the Numbers | Fantasy breakdown]
1. Who will fill the scoring void?
With forwards Mike Hoffman (unrestricted free agent) and Evgenii Dadonov (signed a three-year contract with the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 15) elsewhere, the Panthers again must rely heavily on forwards Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov to produce, along with Patric Hornqvist, who was acquired in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins for defenseman Mike Matheson and forward Colton Sceviour on Sept. 24.
Hornqvist has scored 480 points (238 goals, 242 assists) in 770 regular-season games with the Penguins and the Nashville Predators, and 46 points (25 goals, 21 assists) in 90 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Hoffman led the Panthers with 29 goals last season; he and Dadonov, who scored 47 points (25 goals, 22 assists), tied for the Panthers lead with 11 power-play goals.
“I know Hornqvist is going to come in and [potentially] be the power-play guy that those two guys were,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We know what he can do. We know his directness at being to the front of the net; that’s something we have to do as a team.”
Video: 31 in 31: Florida Panthers 2020-21 preview
2. How will Sergei Bobrovsky fare in his second season? 
Bobrovsky struggled in his first season with the Panthers after agreeing to a seven-year contract July 1, 2019. His 3.23 goals-against average was the highest of his 10 NHL seasons, and his .900 save percentage was his second-lowest (.899, 2011-12). Bobrovsky is a two-time winner of the Vezina Trophy voted as the best goalie in the NHL (2013, 2017) and will need to return to similar form if Florida is going to take the next step.
“I think it was a good learning experience for him and for us,” Quenneville said. “I know that expectations were sky-high going into last year. I think he’s had a really good offseason. I think he’s handled the tough year and then learning from that. I think proving that he had to be worth every penny of [his contract] at the beginning and throughout the process was not an easy thing coming into a new environment.
“Let’s throw all that stuff away. Let’s be a part of it, let’s learn, let’s be consistent. Be ‘Bob.’ He’s looked well every single day since the end of the year. I think Bob has proved in the past he can be a top-notch goalie. We expect him to be back being himself.”
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3. Can Alexander Wennberg bounce back?
Wennberg agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Panthers on Oct. 9, one day after the 26-year-old forward was placed on waivers by the Columbus Blue Jackets for the purpose of buying out the final three seasons of a six-year contract he signed with Columbus on Sept. 1, 2017.
Wennberg scored 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) in 57 regular-season games and five points (three goals, two assists) in 10 postseason games last season. His points have declined each season since he scored an NHL career-high 59 (13 goals, 46 assists) in 80 games in 2016-17.
“I think his focus is going to be on this team and moving forward and taking advantage of the opportunity he has that will be significant,” Panthers general manager Bill Zito said. “[We expect him] to be a leader and to focus on winning and working. I think he’s ready to do that and I think he’s excited.”

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